If you have ventured down to the SUNY Oswego lakeshore this fall semester you may have seen large groups of students diligently clearing the rocks of litter, sorting recyclables, and making our lakeshore a clean and inviting location for people and wildlife. The vast majority of these environmentally minded students are members of the campus’ various Fraternity and Sorority organizations.
Oswego Greek organizations have always been a great partner of the office of Community Services, but after a year of social distancing, Zoom meetings, and distance learning, Greek students were eager to give back in-person to the community that supports them. So far this semester, the Community Services program Shining Waters has partnered with five Greek organizations to complete six lakeshore cleanups. Over 100 members from Alpha Epsilon Phi, Kappa Delta Phi, Phi Sigma Sigma, Psi Phi Gamma, and Sigma Tau Chi have served over 150 hours with even more cleanups planned for the remaining weeks of the semester.
During these cleanup efforts, students collect litter and recyclables along the lakeshore and then report data on what they have collected to the Alliance of the Great Lakes, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to protect the fresh waters of the Great Lakes. In addition to the clean ups, students talk about the negative impact litter, specifically plastic waste, has on our water system, learn about proper recycling practices on campus, and ways to reduce their single use plastic consumption.
As community leaders both on and off campus, Greek organizations at SUNY Oswego have been working hard this semester to set a positive example for their community, be good stewards of the environment, and encourage their fellow brothers and sisters to participate in ongoing Community Services programs.