Megan Schelzi

Megan Schelzi

At this semester’s Activities Fair you may have noticed a student standing on top of a table holding up a poster board shouting, ‘Join the Green Campus Initiative.’

At the time, there were only a few members, but over the past four months those determined few have brought together 39 students to form the Green Campus Initiative (GCI).

All semester long, a group of individuals from GCI have been working together toward a common goal of fund raising enough money to travel to New Orleans over winter break to volunteer with sustainable redevelopment of devastated residential areas.

Monday night in the Oak Room, members of GCI hosted a silent auction, which raised approximately $1,500, helping the team reach its goal of $34,400 of which they are currently at $28,000.

Auction items ranged from massages at Physical Synergy to autographed sports memorabilia, as well as Knicks tickets and student-crafted jewelry.

But more than a silent auction, the event was like a send-off for the students going on the trip. Throughout the event, students and faculty alike came out in support of their friends and students to wish them luck and help support their cause.

With the trip less than a month away, ‘We’re right where we want to be,’ said Galen Vinter ’09, director of GCI, of the teams fundraising efforts.

Monday night’s silent auction was just one of the many fundraising efforts GCI members have done this semester. Last Sunday, it hosted a ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ at the beach (in the snow) and sold candy grams for weeks earlier in the semester.

What sets this group apart is that its members have done everything themselves. From the beginning, this trip has been coordinated by students for students.

‘Being student-run allows us to keep focus on the GCI’s goals as well as the goal to empower students,’ said Vinter.

Only in its first year, members of GCI understand that there are challenges to be faced as there are with any organization on its first round, but knowing that has not kept these students from continuing towards their goal.

‘The best part of GCI being so young and energetic is that we will make mistakes but we won’t make them alone – we’ll make them together, we’ll fix them together, and we’ll become strong because of it, together,’ said Vinter.

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