Greek life took to the streets Saturday to clean up Downtown and show the green side of Binghamton Unversity.
Students met at the University Downtown Center and walked along the Chenango River and Front Street picking up trash.
The Interfraternity Council funded the event and supplied students with garbage bags and gloves. The walk was a project organized by a group of students in Environmental Studies 415: Environmental Planning, for 45 percent of their final grade.
Krista Schlueck, an organizer of the walk and a senior majoring in environmental studies, said she hoped that inviting Greek life members to the walk would help improve the Downtown community’s negative perception of Binghamton University students.
“We have a bad image as students Downtown sometimes,” Schlueck said. “This walk shows that Binghamton University students care about the community.”
About 50 members of Zeta Psi, Sigma Beta Rho, Phi Kappa Psi, Chi Phi, Tau Alpha Upsilon and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternities participated in the green initiative to help clean up the Downtown region. By the end of the walk they had collected three large garbage bags and disposed of them at a dumpster at UDC.
Alexander Liu, IFC president, member of Zeta Psi fraternity and a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said Greek life should engage in more community service events such as the Beautify Binghamton Walk.
“Greek life has a responsibility to give back to the community — this exemplifies what the community should be, and I think that we’re moving toward that,” Liu said. “I hope this will set a good precedent for future collaborations between students, departments and Greek life and the different chapters involved.”
According to Liu, while philanthropy and community service are pillars of the Greek life community, there has been a bigger focus on the philanthropy services than community service.
“In terms of philanthropy, I think we do a good job,” Liu said. “In terms of community service, I think we can do more. Philanthropy is just handing over a check. Community service engages with the community on a different level, and I think that’s important for improving our reputation.”
Peter Frantellizzi, IFC philanthropy chair, member of Sigma Beta Rho and a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said that organizations participating in community service events highlight the beneficial aspects of the Greek life community.
Frantellizzi suggested that the University embrace the Greek community as a volunteer group to effectively beautify the Downtown region.
“We have the biggest organization to get things accomplished. If we put our minds to it, basically anything we want gets done,” Frantellizzi said. “If we want to start a green initiative, we can make it as good as we want.”
Francesca Nedvin, an organizer of the event and a senior majoring in environmental studies, said she hopes to engage more BU students in similar programs within the Binghamton community.
“It would be good to encourage more students to get more involved and be a part of the city and community,” Nedvin said. “This is the city they’re living in, so they should care about it.”