Alpha Xi Delta teeters up and down while speaking out

Alpha Xi Delta holds their 11th annual Teeter-Totter-A-Thon for autism awareness

More stories from Brian Sheridan


Photo by Kendall Ruchti

Junior CSD student Emmy Gerome poses for a photo with the Autism Speaks mascot at the 11th annual 24-hour event for the Epsilon Alpha chapter of Alpha Xi Delta.

Editor’s note: Courtney Roszak currently serves as the public relations intern for The Spectator.

It’s not the easiest to teeter-totter for 24 hours, but luckily the 58 members of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority came together in support for each other and their cause of fundraising and bringing awareness to autism and their philanthropy, Autism Speaks.

After setting up their teeter-totter and adorning their site in blue, the sorority began its 11th annual 24-hour Teeter-Totter-A-Thon session outside Davies Center on Tuesday.

Autism Speaks has been around since 2005 and has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research for causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism, according to

Junior integrated strategic communication student Courtney Roszak, who has been a member of Alpha Xi Delta for two and a half years and is participating in her third Teeter-Totter-A-Thon, said the sorority has been paired with Autism Speak for years and enjoys how much the organization focuses on the family.

“Families affected by autism will usually run an extra $60,000 a year and Autism Speaks really helps out those families and supports them and just being there for them,” Roszak said.

Roszak is one of the members who planned this for the last four months. During the 24 hours, the sorority not only teeter-tottered nonstop the entire time, they sold raffle tickets for clothes, music festivals, gift certificates and more.

At night was where a plethora of games ranging from bean bag toss, to Giant Jenga, Kubb and a dance off, and then Chinese lantern lift offs for the families affected by autism. During the night, Roszak said the rest of the Greek community comes out to bring coffee, games and energy to the night.

“They come out, participate, communicate, socialize with everyone and their support is amazing,” Roszak said. “I can’t even describe how great it is to have our entire Greek community come and support us.”

Alpha Xi Delta President Annalyn Alt said during the day they had their mascot Betsy Bear visit, and UW-Eau Claire’s Blu even stopped by. Chancellor James C. Schmidt was also found teetering and tottering alongside the rest of the sorority. However, anyone could ride the teeter totter for $5.

Alt said she took the night shift of riding the teeter totter her first year after hearing about how much fun it was at night.

“It was my first experience and I stayed up all night, actually,” Alt said. “I didn’t want to leave. My shift was in the middle of the night so I thought, ‘I’m just going to stay.’ I was very tired the next day but it was worth it.”

Alt said they hoped to raise $12,000 by noon Wednesday, the end of the event.

One of Alt’s favorite things about the event, she said, is the fun and sisterhood to be had during the Teeter-Totter-A-Thon and being able to share it with Eau Claire.

“This isn’t your stereotypical sorority,” Alt said. “We’re involved in it for our philanthropy and our leadership experience and for creating those close bonds. I think it’s good to show the campus what we’re really about.”