Greek students participated in a cleanup of the Row on Sunday morning, an event jointly hosted by Greeks Go Green and the Department of Public Safety. The cleanup covered the Southeast side of the Row, stretching from Pi Kappa Phi to Sigma Alpha Mu.
Greeks Go Green, a collaborative effort between the greek system and the Office of Sustainability, sponsors green initiatives to incorporate environmental sustainability into greek life at USC. The group was established during the 2013-2014 academic year.
“The Office of Sustainability wanted a way to work with the greek community, so Greeks Go Green created that network for people to be involved both in greek life and sustainability initiatives,” said Joshua Blockstein, co-president of Greeks Go Green and a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
Sunday’s Row cleanup was preceded by Greek’s Go Green “Late Night Facts and Snacks,” an event on the corner of University Avenue and 28th Street outside of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority house. Members of the organization handed out snacks and presented facts about sustainability, all in anticipation of Sunday’s event.
“We want to raise our profile on the Row and give people a way to contribute,” Blockstein said. “We want to show that the greek community cares about sustainability and the environment.”
The cleanup event on Sunday concluded with an all-Row barbecue located on the lawn of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, with hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks for cleanup volunteers and members of greek life.
“The cleanup had lots of energy, and it was very cool to see everyone getting involved,” said Nathan Chen, a senior majoring in environmental studies. “It was cool to see USC serve as a benchmark for sustainability. This creates potential for a future partnership between DPS and the greek community to further clean up the Row.”
In addition to proactive sustainability events like Sunday’s, Greeks Go Green supports many behind-the-scenes initiatives.
“Our main plan is to have a chapter certification program for all of the greek houses,” Blockstein said. “When a chapter takes a step to become more sustainable, they are awarded with a certain certification rank. We want to motivate houses to become more environmentally friendly.”
Other initiatives held by Greeks Go Green include red Solo cup recycling and an annual thrift shop event. The proceeds, collected from selling sorority members’ old clothing, get donated to Midnight Mission, a homeless shelter on Skid Row.