April 12, 2002

Greeks Clean Up Collegetown

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Members of the various fraternities and sororities under the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Association (Panhel) combined their efforts on Sunday, April 7 to clean up Collegetown.

Close to 250 students participated in Collegetown Clean Up, an annual event in which members of the Greek system clean up the streets of Collegetown in the morning. The area cleaned ranged from Route 79 to Oak Street and from Stewart Avenue up to Elmwood. The volunteers collected over 100 bags of trash in the area.

“Helping the community is nothing new for the Greek system, but it’s never bad to do a little more, said Gabriel Slater ’04,” a member of Phi Psi fraternity.

The City of Ithaca sponsored the event by providing trash bags, a trash compactor and a truck free of charge to take the garbage away from Collegetown. The Nines, a restaurant in Collegetown, provided space for the event as the central point where the students met to get their street assignments and receive free t-shirts as a reward for their participation efforts.

This year, the fraternities that had the highest number of volunteers participating in the clean-up were Zeta Psi, Kappa Sigma and Sigma Epsilon Phi. The Delta Delta Delta and Delta Gamma sororities had the most participants for the sororities.

“It was very beneficial and it was very well run. It did a lot for the community. It had a really good turn-out and the work wasn’t hard. It was probably allocated to just enough people so it was simple to do,” said Mario Rivera ’04, vice president of the Zeta Psi fraternity.

“This event is important because [we are] members of the Cornell community,” said Paul El-Meouchy ’03. “We all use Collegetown, we go out in Collegetown and we don’t realize the mess that we leave this neighborhood in. I am really proud of the Greek community for showing their support for this event because the Greeks represent a fraction of the residents of Collegetown, yet they are the ones coming and cleaning up the neighborhood.”

“There were a few girls who participated from our house. I think it’s a really great way for the members of the Greek system to positively influence the community. Also, it’s a good way for us to meet members outside of our houses in the Greek system,” said Michelle Sarlo ’02, a sister of the Kappa Delta sorority.

Some students disapproved of the way the event was constructed.

“I fundamentally disagree with the concept of Collegetown Clean Up because it implies that people in frats an sororities are littering Collegetown,” Katherine Klein ’03 said.

“I would have no problem cleaning up areas of North and West campus where frats and sororities hold parties, or if both non-Greek and Greek people jointly participated in Collegetown Clean Up. I think that the non-Greek people hold more house parties in Collegetown and should participate more in Collegetown clean up,” she said.

Archived article by Veronika Belenkaya