Greek Village is a large part of USC, and now students in Greek Life are looking to facilitate a more environmentally friendly, green hub for the university.
Katherine Sclichter, a fourth-year international business student and intern at Sustainable Carolina is spearheading the effort to educate the Greek community on sustainability and integrate more environmentally friendly practices into every day life at Carolina.
“It first stated out as my honors thesis, and then I started working for Sustainable Carolina and it evolved into what it is now,” Sclichter said. “The Greeks are supposed to be leaders on campus, but this is one area we’re lacking. A change in attitude toward recycling and sustainability is needed,” she said.
Sclichter, a member of Chi Omega, has witnessed the need for a green initiative firsthand.
“I just started to notice junior and senior year the amount of waste we were producing,” she said. “We have over 200 girls a day getting food at these houses and constantly using plastic cups. It was all going in the trash.”
Sclichter and Sustainable Carolina have encouraged USC fraternity and sorority members to get involved and show their support for the up-and-coming initiative. These Greek students will serve as liaisons between Sustainable Carolina and their respective Greek chapters.
“My overall goal is to develop an official Panhellenic Sustainability Committee. The idea of the program is that they would work directly with Sustainable Carolina,” Sclichter said. “These Green Greeks will plan activities to educate the members of their chapters, work with chapter executive members to reward their Greeks for sustainable behavior and work directly with the housing corporations to make the houses more environmentally friendly.”
The Green Greeks liaisons will work with Sustainable Carolina and their chapters in order to facilitate this sustainable learning and implementations.
Sclichter said the liaisons will attend monthly meetings to learn ways to bring sustainability back to their respective chapters. She's hoping to eventually have representation from all Greek organizations on campus.
The program is a big undertaking for Sclichter who will graduate this December.
“My timeline is pretty short because I’m graduating, but one of the things I’m planning to do is creating this Executive Committee to cover my role and work on marketing,” she said. “Because it’s my last semester, I don’t have a heavy work load, and this has been my main focus.”
Even though Green Greeks is still in its start-up phase, Sclichter believes this initiative will be a long-lasting and successful program, even after she leaves the university.
“People don’t think that it matters, but if we all make a change, we can make a big impact. We can make a really positive impact,” Sclichter said. “I’m interested in getting people motivated and interested in caring.”