Greeks Go Green rebranding in progress


Courtesy of Hannah Baysinger

People volunteer to clean up Lake LaVerne. 

Mikaila Gondreau

Greeks Go Green is working toward recreating their image to be more inclusive of all students in order to make them aware that they can make positive impacts on the environment. 

Greeks Go Green is an ISU organization based around the principal of sustainability. Their mission is to provide an opportunity for students to get involved in sustainable practices, community service and spreading awareness with an emphasis on the sorority and fraternity community. Although they have a simple mission, there is more to Greeks Go Green than meets the eye.

From an outside perspective, Greeks Go Green appears to be completely affiliated with the sorority and fraternity community. This is not the case. Although they have an emphasis on the sorority and fraternity community to keep chapters involved in sustainability efforts, Greeks Go Green is an organization for every student at Iowa State.

Sammi Shimota, junior in environmental science, is a co-president of the group and she is not a member of a sorority chapter. After becoming familiar with Greeks Go Green through the previous presidents, Tyler Sward and Robert Petersohn, Shimota decided to get involved. 

She originally found out about the group at Sustainapalooza, an annual event held at Iowa State to host sustainable organizations, clubs and research groups. Greeks Go Green set up their booth at this year’s Sustainapalooza on Tuesday to show students how they can reuse their garbage to plant seeds. 

Shimota described the event as an opportunity for clubs and organizations to “showcase what they’re currently working on to create a more sustainable, greener campus.”

Greeks Go Green has been working toward making campus “greener” since October of 2012. After a brief decline in action within the group, it was rebooted in 2016 by Tyler Sward and Robert Petersohn. Sward and Petersohn revamped the entire structure of Greeks Go Green, from its constitution to its outreach strategies. Since then, Greeks Go Green has made many impacts at Iowa State, including a biannual Lake Laverne cleanup, projects during Greek Week: Week of Service and many fundraisers.

Now that the group is gaining momentum, many projects are in place for the coming semesters. One of those projects being rebranding the group completely and coming up with a new name to be more inclusive among students. 

Aliya Johnson, sophomore in communication studies, is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and Shimota’s co-president. Johnson said Greeks Go Green has a mission to “create a name that embodies people everywhere on campus, not just the greek community.” 

“The goal of this club isn’t really to try to show-off or like, be competitive,” Johnson said. “What can we as college students, a part of a chapter or not a part of a chapter, do to be more sustainable?”

Johnson said Greeks Go Green will have a new name by the start of the fall 2018 semester. The director of public and media relations for Greeks Go Green has not yet chosen a new name.

By changing the group’s name, Johnson and Shimota hope to grow their numbers within the club in order to continue supporting other sustainability organizations in Ames on a larger scale.

“We’re really trying to get our name out there so more people know about it and more people can participate,” said Shimota.

Greeks Go Green will be holding their next fundraiser at 6 p.m. on March 23 at Smokin’ Oak.

If you have any questions about sustainability or you are interested in being a part of Greeks Go Green, email Shimota and Johnson at [email protected]