Greeks spruce up neighborhood with annual cleanup

Greek Row spring-cleaned to avoid rows of another kind.

More than 50 students gathered in front of the Naval Science Building on Saturday morning in their greek sweatshirts to participate in the third annual Neighborhood Cleanup to improve the historically tense relationship between the greeks and their neighbors.

Neighborhood Cleanup, organized by the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils with Lori McDonald, assistant dean of students, is the kick-off service project for Greek Week.

“The neighbors really appreciated it last year,” said Morgan Dahle, president of the Panhellenic Council. “On Greek Council, we deal with the neighbors a lot but this lets everyone interact. It also shows them some positive things about Greek Row.”

People living on and around Butler Avenue often complain about the noise from the fraternity and sorority houses as well as the loud music and trash from late-night parties.

Holly Ausbeck has four children and shares the alley behind her house with a sorority. The house had been vacant for two years before she moved in last summer, and the sorority is still putting its five large garbage cans in front of her garage. She’s called seven times about having to move the cans before being able to park her car. Each time the sorority moved the cans, she said, but by the next garbage day they were back again.

But the greeks cleaning up her large pile of fallen tree branches from recent storms helps make up for it, she said.

Along with fallen limbs, neighbor Noel De Nevers also has large piles from pruning and spring yard work.

“It’s very kind of the students to do this for us,” he said.

De Nevers, who is also a professor emeritus of engineering, said the city doesn’t do a spring pick-up of its branch piles. The work the students do is a tremendous help, he said.

Stayner Landward, dean of students, was there with his truck and trailer.

“It’s a bigger project this year because of all the branches,” he said.

Landward said he helps with the event every year and supports the Greek Council.

“The greeks are there when you need them,” he said.

Although keeping good relations with the neighbors is a constant process, doing cleanup twice a year makes the neighbors happy and is fun for the students, McDonald said.

Besides the branch piles, the students volunteer to help with anything else the neighbors need. Fliers are put on all the doors announcing the project and encouraging people to call Greek Council with their requests for help, said Spencer Ricks, Interfraternity Council president.

Last year, several radiators were moved and this year, Lisa Gellert requested that a dead tree be taken down with a chain saw for her elderly neighbor.

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