Veggie Society rots sorority's plan to sell live fish for heart disease fundraiser

A student group at Seton Hall University wants to ban the sale of live fish.

The move comes after one sorority planned to sell fish for a women's heart disease fundraiser.

Students at a New Jersey college want to ban the sale of live fish. 

The SHU Veggie Society circulated a petition in September to call for a ban on selling live fish, according to The Setonian. The move came as the Alpha Phi sorority suddenly postponed its fundraiser, “Betta Phish," which was set to sell live fish in order to raise money to help women with heart disease.

On Sept 10, the Veggie Society offered to raise funds to compensate for the fundraiser, an offer the Alpha Phi Sorority first accepted, but later declined. Annabelle Dunn, the president of the SHU Veggie Society, claims that the sorority’s fundraiser was “coincidental” since their event was planned in May before Alpha Phi scheduled its event.

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“We just think that the live sale of animals on campus is problematic, because objectively it is,” Dunn said, according to The Setonian. “We decided to go with fish because fish are distributed on campus, and it’s not just by Alpha Phi but also by the Student Alumni Association. All in all, it is just not an ethical decision to use live, breathing animals for fundraising purposes.”

SHU Assistant Director of Student Leadership and head of Greek Life Michael Davis said, “the policy for all student organizations, Greek and non-Greek, states that organizations are not to have any animals on campus without permission from the Department of Student Life.” 

The Alpha Phi sorority did obtain permission from the Department of Student Life to sell fish for its fundraiser, according to Davis. 

Laurie Pine, SHU spokeswoman, commented on the controversy in a statement to Campus Reform, saying, "Seton Hall University welcomes a diversity of ideas and the journey of self-discovery that are hallmarks of the college experience. We support an inclusive environment where all members of our community can be heard and feel respected and valued.”

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Other clubs and individuals, including Student Government President Rishi Shah, weighed in, supporting the petition against “unethical” practices and saying how Alpha Phi’s rejection of the offer from the Veggie Society was a “lost opportunity to help those in need and does not reflect well on the philanthropic nature of the event."

The Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority also came out in support of the petition, as did various students quoted by The Setonian

The Veggie Society stated it will petition future sales of live animals, if this petition does not succeed. 

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