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ATO Jailbreak: Capturing students for charity

If you ventured near the bell tower Thursday, it wouldn’t be long before you heard a loud whistle and noticed an unsuspecting student being chased by a mob of men.

“I dropped my book bag and took off. It was weighing me down,” Charlei Coffey, sophomore member of Phi Mu sorority, said after being chased down and taken to jail.

The annual Jailbreak fundraiser hosted by Alpha Tau Omega fraternity took over campus Thursday, capturing students for charity.

Students and staff donated money to have friends thrown into a makeshift jail made of wire fencing. Nobody was allowed to leave the space until they raised enough money to pay their bail.

The money raised benefits ATO’s philanthropy Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization that fights to end AIDS and provide clean water in Africa.

Last year, Jailbreak raised $3500, and this year it is projected they will have raised $6000, almost doubling last year’s total, said ATO President Robert Storrow.

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Usually run by ATO pledges, Jailbreak took a different direction this year and was organized by a committee of ATO brothers.

It was important for the fraternity to be professional and organized because members of ATO nationals attended the event to film as an example for other ATO chapters, said Storrow.

This year, ATO added five teams made up of brothers and a select number of members from Belmont sororities. These teams took on different personas and spread out on campus, capturing students with bounties on their names.

“We did it to inspire competitiveness,” said Storrow.

ATO also organized live music for the event, adding to the lively to the atmosphere.

“It’s so successful because it’s active for everyone. It’s fun, there’s live music and free food,” said Emily Sprang, sophomore music business major.

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