RIT student helping to raise awareness for people with disabilities

Student Spotlight
Victor Santiago, fifth-year graphic design

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Victor Santiago is involved with multiple philanthropies that benefit people with disabilities.

Amidst a busy schedule of extracurricular activity, fifth-year graphic design major Victor Santiago finds time to raise awareness for people with disabilities through the work of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, where he serves as the Push America chairman. The annual event, Pedal for Push, will be held Sept. 17-21. For more information, go to events.rit.edu.

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: Rochester, N.Y.

Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: RIT has a great design school and it was very close to home, only about a 20-minute drive.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most interesting or unique thing about yourself?
A: In my opinion, the most unique/interesting thing about myself would be that it takes me a long time to get from one side of campus to the other because I am always stopping to talk to people I know. I always leave for class about 30 minutes early, just in case.

Q: What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
A: It would have to be traveling across America twice as part of the Journey of Hope, a two-month trip where brothers of Pi Kappa Phi from across the country travel by bike to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities.

Q: What organizations and activities are you involved with at RIT?
A: I have been heavily involved in the RIT community. I am currently a part of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Theta Psi Chapter where I serve as the Push America chairman, and I am a staff artist for the College Activities Board. Additionally, I am an orientation assistant, a peer mentor and a student representative on the Alumni Association Board Of Directors. Finally, I am also the vice president of public relations and recruitment for the RIT Interfraternity Council.

Q: What is Pedal for Push?
A: Pedal for Push is one of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s annual events here at RIT. It occurs week three of every fall quarter—fall semester in the near future. This event has brothers of the RIT chapter riding on a stationery bike for 100 consecutive hours. We are stationed at the Tiger Statue all week. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for people with disabilities as well as to raise funds for our national philanthropy, known as Push America. We will be starting at 10 a.m. on Sept. 17 and ending at 2 p.m. on Sept. 21, where we will then hold a picnic with the Arc of Monroe, a local organization that caters to people with disabilities here in Rochester. For more information about our philanthropy, you can go to www.pushamerica.org.

Q: How did you get involved with Pedal for Push and what is your role?
A: I got involved with this event when I became a brother of Pi Kappa Phi during the fall of 2010. After participating in the event that year, I wanted to do more so I became the Push America chairman. My role in this event is to supervise another brother, Joe Sciandra, as we both work hand-in-hand to create and organize the event. I am also the main contact between RIT and Arc of Monroe on behalf of Pi Kappa Phi.

Q: What else would you like to tell the RIT community about Pedal for Push?
A: Pedal for Push is a weeklong event. We will have raffles at the table. If you would like to pedal for a certain amount of time, you can become one of our CelebRITy riders, where you can pedal right next to us on a guest bike. In addition, if you would like to make a donation you can stop by the table at the tiger statue at any time or go to support.pushamerica.org/goto/RIT.

Q: What advice would you give to other RIT students?
A: I would say take in everything that RIT has to offer you! This is a great campus and a great school to attend, take it all in.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: My plans for after I graduate from RIT are to look into going to grad school for student affairs and/or becoming a leadership consultant for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

Matt Gregory compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him at msg2110@rit.edu with suggestions.