For forty years, April 22 has been a day devoted to the wellness of the planet and the betterment of the community. Phi Sigma Kappa is continuing the tradition with a campus-wide clean up of litter and other pollutants.
“Not a lot of people think about Earth Day,” said Nick Desrosiers, Phi Sigma Kappa community service chair. “Our whole campaign was to try to clean up our campus as much as possible.”
Greeks Walk the Green Mile begins Thursday at 1 p.m. by Franklin Hall. Members of various sororities and fraternities will work together and walk throughout campus picking up trash and recyclables. All of the cleaning supplies were donated by Kent State’s building and grounds services.
“It’s important for the Greek community because we’ll be walking as a big group rather than competing against each other like in some other events,” said Staci Moeller, a member of Delta Zeta who is participating in the event. “For those outside of the Greek community, hopefully if they see a bunch of us walking and will just join in and help.”
Desrosiers said this is the first year they are holding the event, and he came up with the idea after working with children at Hattie Larlham and seeing their dedication to going green.
“Those kids are actually the ones that put it in our heads, and I just put the pieces together,” said Desrosiers, a sophomore accounting major. “It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and in some places it’s a big deal, but it’s not really around here, so I just wanted to do something.”
Moeller, a junior middle childhood education major, said she thinks the event is a good idea because people often complain about the dirtiness in Kent, but they do not act on their opinions. She said the Greeks’ can show people that even doing something small can make a great impact.
“If someone sees us walking in a huge group cleaning up, they might think twice about littering the pop can they’re holding,” she said. “We’re showing that people actually care about the state of our campus.”
Desrosiers said he is not only looking forward to helping campus grounds, but also helping the relationships between Greek chapters.
“We’re trying to send an open invitation to the Greek community,” he said. “Our hands are open, and we really want to get close with different fraternities and sororities.”
This “green” effort is one of many that Greeks are implementing during the global campaign. Moeller said she feels the campus clean up is important even without Earth Day.
“It places a higher importance on [the event] because it is Earth Day, and it builds hype…but I don’t feel like it is only important because of Earth Day,” Moeller said. “They could have done it any time and it still would have been a big deal.”
The group will finish its walk around Centennial Hall and Desrosiers anticipates it will take no more than two hours. He hopes to create a cleaner campus and to see their hard work pay off.
“We’re calling it a social event because people are going to show up ready to work and to socialize,” he said. “Every little bit helps. Sometimes people don’t realize how small of a thing you can do to make a difference.”