September 23, 2002

Cornell Volunteers Hit Streets to Clean

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Over two hundred members of Cornell’s Greek system participated yesterday morning in the semiannual clean up of Collegetown. The event, sponsored by the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Panhellenic Association, cleaned the greater Collegetown area, extending up to Route 79, down Stewart Avenue.

Paul El-Meouchy ’03, vice-president of University and community relations for the IFC, was in charge of the voluntary clean-up.

“Contrary to popular belief, I do not think that Greeks are completely responsible for the state Collegetown is in after all the Collegetown parties; most fraternity and sorority members do live in their houses on campus. We are just doing our part to keep the community clean,” El-Meouchy said.

The cleanup was scheduled to take place last weekend, but was rescheduled this week due to rain. 36 fraternities and 13 sororities sent seven to 10 delegates each to clean up their designated street. The two-hour operation was split into two shifts to manage the large numbers. Teams of three were given a garbage bag and sent off to gather garbage.

Alpha Phi sorority was assigned the laborious task of cleaning Dryden Road.

“We were planning to send 30 last week, but due to conflicts, we could only send 12 this week,” said Megan Dubyak ’04, President of Alpha Phi sorority.

In contrast to previous years, Collegetown was not entirely spotless after this year’s clean-up.

“I think a really important difference between this year and last year is that the IFC and the Panhellenics distributed good neighbor pamphlets urging residents to be more responsible,” Dubyak said.

“The guide is published by the Collegetown Neighborhood Council, and is an advising guide with respect to noise, parties, quiet hours, and information about rights as a tenant,” El-Meouchy said.

Collegetown residents were appreciative of yesterday’s efforts.

“If they didn’t do it, no one else would have,” said David Siegel ’05, Collegetown resident.

“Cleaning up Collegetown is not only a great service to the Ithaca community, but it also enables students to get involved with an activity that lets them show their leadership skills and potential. It gives them a chance to give back to the Cornell community,” said Niyati Trivedi ’03, also a Collegetown resident.

The City of Ithaca also sponsored this event by donating garbage bags and dispatching a garbage truck to receive all the collected waste.

Mayor Alan J. Cohen ’81 supported the students’ efforts.

“It’s one example of the many contributions that student can and do make to the Ithaca community,” Cohen said.

Referring to his recent “Open Letter to Students,” an e-mailed plea to Collegetown residents to respect pertinent laws, the Mayor applauded yesterday’s cleaning.

“This is a positive response and an indication that there are leaders and student community who want to demonstrate that they are responsible citizens,” Cohen added.

“In total, we collected 65 to 70 full garbage bags. The event went fairly well, and we hope to increase numbers for next semester,” El-Meouchy said.

Archived article by Krishna Raghavan