MSA committee hopes to bring recycling to Greek houses

Registering for recycling would cost $15.42 per month per house.

New alternatives for recycling to be considered.

The Missouri Students Association Campus and Community Relations Committee is prioritizing their ongoing project to register all fraternity and sorority houses for recycling with the city of Columbia.

This has been an ongoing project since the spring 2015 semester.

“In 2015, we had got in contact with an organization called ‘Greeks Going Green,’” CCRC Chairman Hunter Windholz said. “They essentially were trying to create a service where they would go around personally and pick up recycling from all the different houses. Now MSA’s approach is [to register the houses] with the city of Columbia.”

The change in approach to this issue results from MSA’s fast turnover of leadership. Students who hold MSA leadership positions often remain in them for a year or less, which can pose a problem when a new chairperson with a different leadership style inherits a position, Windholz said.

Other barriers MSA has faced include lack of communication from the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, MSA members said, as well as resistance from the fraternity houses themselves.

“A big issue is that a lot of fraternities feel that putting all of their aluminums in one place could get hazardous for police driving by, which would be an unwarranted search and seizure if they opened up the recycling bin,” Windholz said. “That was their original thing keeping them standoffish.”

IFC did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Registering houses for recycling in Columbia also comes with a price. According to the city’s website, a monthly fee of $15.42 is charged to houses for curbside pickup, which includes recycling.

Mandating fees for fraternity and sorority houses has been an issue in the past. Last winter, the Department of Student Life tried to implement a Greek fee that each member would have to pay, but the fee was not adopted.

IFC is aware of the attempts to get Greek houses to recycle with the city.

“If IFC were to have control in this, we would have to charge each chapter a fee per member in order to set that up as far as getting bins, and getting it picked up,” said Jacob Farkas, vice president of public relations for IFC.

Regardless of MSA’s projects to set recycling in motion, real change must come from the governing bodies of the fraternity and sorority houses themselves. However, the recycling issue isn't at the forefront of their agendas. Farkas said IFC is currently focused on issues such as accessibility, diversity and inclusion.

“At this point in time, the IFC has been dealing with various different issues on campus, but if MSA is increasing their efforts on recycling in Greektown, then that is something that IFC would like to be a part of, we just haven't had those talks yet,” Farkas said.

Despite past inaction, MSA does not plan to set aside this project again.

“CCRC just had a pretty big success bringing food trucks into campus, and now our next big project is tackling Greek recycling,” Windholz said. “This is currently the top of our project agenda right now.”

Edited by Emily Gallion | egallion@themaneater.com

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