Greeks Gone Green is a viable force on campus

Complete this sentence: “Greeks gone … ”

If your first guess was “wild,” you should take a closer look at our campus right now.

The “Greeks Gone Green” campaign, a push by the Panhellenic Council for increased sustainability at USC, kicked off March 7 and will continue until Friday.

Hye You | Daily Trojan

Eco-friendly paraphernalia including T-shirts, water bottles and canvas bags are being sold around campus and will fund a new recycling program on The Row.

But what’s most interesting is how the campaign has actually extended beyond the Greek community to incorporate USC as a whole.

Though the focus might be on sustainability on The Row, the campaign has formed so many partnerships and elicited so much publicity that everyone around campus is reminded that, Greek or not, the same problems and the same practices should be implemented.

The campaign, which includes partnerships with both CalPIRG and the Office of Sustainability, has been plastered all over Facebook. The campaign invited not just the social fraternities and sororities to participate, but multicultural, professional and academic houses as well.

And although USC isn’t partnering with any other schools, the sentiments aren’t restricted to Los Angeles; the University of California at Santa Barbara and San Diego have similar campaigns.

Panhellenic won’t know how much money has been raised until the campaign is finished, but by publicizing it to the extent that it has, Panhellenic has at least gotten our attention.

Greeks Gone Green has served as a jumping-off point for other sustainable projects in the Greek community, including an upcoming guest speaker and Greek service day during Earth Week.

Zara Abrams, Panhellenic Vice President of Scholarship, said the main goal of the campaign was to raise sustainability awareness in the Greek community and the student body.

“Unity among Greeks and among the entire student body is essential if we wish to enact change,” Abrams wrote in an email.

Some might point out fraternities and sororities are essentially obligated to engage in philanthropic endeavors. Some might even argue such a campaign probably has more to do with promoting a favorable image than with a genuine interest in a recycling program.

But each house already has its own philanthropy, and Panhellenic did seem to create the event simply out of the realization that recycling bins were not a large presence on The Row.

Regardless of intention, it’s refreshing to see this type of project come from an organization that does not inherently revolve around sustainability the way CalPIRG and others do (although that’s not to say we appreciate them any less).

And to see CalPIRG and the Greek community work together in the coming weeks to reduce The Row’s carbon footprint is a win-win situation for everyone.

Of course, one of the most obvious measures in such a campaign would be for Greeks and non-Greeks alike to cut down on the army of red plastic cups left strewn across The Row every Friday morning.

But until students decide to take that plunge, we can at least remember to recycle them.

Kastalia Medrano is a sophomore majoring in print and digital journalism and an associate managing editor for the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Green Piece,” runs Tuesdays.

1 reply
  1. Marie
    Marie says:

    Can we please stop with all the green op eds week in and week out?

    We get it, green is good. Green is good. Green is good…..

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