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Greek community should take stronger role in clean up

Garbage on the ground gives a negative image and encourages the presence of crime

Simple+details%2C+such+as+litter+left+on+the+ground%2C+can+give+off+the+appearance+that+an+area+is+not+well+cared+for+and+encourage+people+to+take+up+worse+crimes.
Simple details, such as litter left on the ground, can give off the appearance that an area is not well cared for and encourage people to take up worse crimes.

Simple details, such as litter left on the ground, can give off the appearance that an area is not well cared for and encourage people to take up worse crimes.

LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen File

LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen File

Simple details, such as litter left on the ground, can give off the appearance that an area is not well cared for and encourage people to take up worse crimes.

RIDGE PETERSON, Evergreen columnist

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The recent program instituted by the Pullman Police Department to clean up the College Hill neighborhoods, which went into full effect Monday, has been successful in improving the quality of life for Pullman residents.

However, for College Hill to remain a clean and safe place to live, the community, including but not limited to Pullman’s Greek life, will need to take more of a leadership role in maintaining the cleanliness of our town.

“It appears that we have been successful so far in changing behavior,” Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said. He added that offenders who were given warnings or citations during the last month have not repeated the behavior, and no new violators have emerged since.

However, for a community to maintain the benefits of a program, the people who live in the community must take a lead role. The Greek houses have a large presence on College Hill, and if they take leadership to keep themselves and their neighborhood clean, they can elevate Pullman to a higher standard.

Not only is leaving garbage unsightly and rude to neighbors, but it also a potential gateway to more serious issues in our community. If people see that we can’t even be bothered to clean up after ourselves, they may think that Pullman is a town where criminal and dangerous behaviors are tolerated. Garbage on the ground sends the message that the community doesn’t care about its streets, and worse crimes like vandalism, theft, public drunkenness and violence follow closely behind.

By starting with the small things and taking a firm stance against littering and disorderly conduct, College Hill residents can keep our town safe and orderly.

“Trash is one of the most visible issues that they see up there,” Jenkins said, “and it is the committee’s belief, and mine as well, that if we address that, it can affect other behaviors up on College Hill.”

Jenkins did mention that many fraternities and sororities, in along with the College Hill Association, participate in “clean up days,” but he added that it would be more helpful if members were more vocal in pressuring the neighborhood to clean up after themselves.

WSU’s Interfraternity Council could not be reached for comment.

If the Greek community were to take an active role in pushing for a clean, trash-free neighborhood, it would not only discourage fraternity and sorority members from leaving messes, but would also put pressure on others who live on College Hill to clean up after themselves.

While Jenkins said that Greek chapter houses do not generally receive citations themselves for nuisance violations such as garbage, he mentioned that Greek live-outs in the past have been cited for having trash in their yards.

Fraternities and sororities strive to be role models on campus. By taking a firm stance against littering, and encouraging the entire College Hill community to keep their houses and yards clean, the Greek community can help make sure their neighborhood holds itself to a higher standard.

The IFC states on their website that they “exist to promote the shared interests and values of our member fraternities: leadership, service, brotherhood, and scholarship.”

The best way to reflect these values is to set an example for the community at large, and speak up about cleaning up trash.

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