The Greeks gear up to go green

Heather Thomas

“Going green is an important global initiative,” said Matt Cohen, a junior history major and president of Alpha Epsilon Pi. “It seems like a lot of the community outreach programs are to go green.”

Cohen, a Greek life intern for the Center of Student Involvement, created Go Greek Go Green, an organization of Greek members encouraging Greek houses and individuals to be more efficient.

“I’m hoping at the very least it gets individual members of the different houses thinking about ways they can reduce their own carbon footprint,” he said. “Our ultimate goal would be to push for green housing for Greeks in the future.

Cohen said Go Greek Go Green is a complex project that involves four subcommittees. Members of each will be tasked with either producing “Green Baskets” that will be filled with “green” items and sent to all the Greek houses, connecting with Kent parks or forming a press team.

One of the subcommittees is planning the organization’s main goal—to launch their “Green Week” events during Greek Week in April.

The organization has been brainstorming ideas for “Green Week” events since early February, and is finalizing plans to attract chapters to join their efforts.

“It seemed like a project that we could really get people interested and involved in,” he said. “I thought it would be a good idea to involve the community.”

Cohen is working on coordinating with parking services to offer free parking to those who can prove they carpooled to a Greek Week event.

Although the project began last fall, representatives from sororities and fraternities did not participate actively until this semester. They are now encouraging their own houses to become environmentally efficient because of it.

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“(Going green) might save money for the house,” said Rachal Mann, a sophomore special education major. “It’s also important to me that the Greek community is trying to help the environment.”

Mann, a member of Alpha Xi Delta, said she’s interested in helping the planet and saving resources, and she thought Go Greek Go Green would be a good way to get involved. She is working on the subcommittee making “Green Baskets,” and will be making a pamphlet about how Greek houses can go green.

Cohen said Go Greek Go Green is important because the Greek community is often negatively portrayed, and both he and Mann said they hope this project will change students’ opinions for the better.

“I think in part we have a greater responsibility to be the role models and leaders for the campus,” Cohen said. “Hopefully (the project) will make the campus see Greeks in a different light.”

If Go Greek Go Green continued from year to year, Cohen said it would be tremendous. He said he wants the project to encourage both Greek and non-Greek individuals to be thinking consciously about the environment.

“Hopefully the Green Week itself will generate its own buzz to keep it going,” Cohen said. “I hope individuals get sparked with an interest to go green, and take it up on their own and take it in their own direction.”

Contact Greek Life reporter Heather Thomas

at [email protected].