MTSU’s Blue and Gold going Green

12 October

Alpha Tau Omega will be hosting a charity cell phone drive from now until the first week of November to encourage eco-friendly action in the community.

ATO member Austin Powell, a sophomore in the College of Mass Communication, said he believes it is time people start doing something about the environment.

“We came across the donation idea on a website,” Powell said. “It said that one cell phone can pollute 35 thousand gallons of water.”

The phones will be donated through Phoneraiser, an online company that was founded in 2003 to provide environmentally responsible ways to raise funds for a wide variety of organizations, according to the organization’s website.

Phoneraiser encourages organizations to donate used cell phones for profit, which are then shipped to the company so that it can recycle the used items. Ink cartridges will also be accepted for donation.

In each home at least two phones sit in junk drawers waiting to be trashed, according to the Phoneraiser website, while only 5 percent of used ink cartridges are recycled each year.

Powell said donation bins would be set up in front of the entrance to the Keathley University Center Grill from Oct. 24 until Oct. 28. ATO will also have a bin set up in front of its house on Greek Row.

“ATO is a leadership fraternity,” said David Herbert, sophomore in the College of Mass Communication, who is a member of ATO. “It’s important to us that the community know that we care enough to give back.”

Michael Filyaw, a sophomore in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, said he thinks it’s important for fraternities to branch out and engage the community with charity work.

“Fraternities often get a bad name,” Filyaw said. “Events like this give the community a positive representation of Greek life.”

Filyaw said that had ATO not initiated this drive, he might not have realized the amount of damage cell phones do to the environment.

Powell said the fraternity would also conduct a door-to-door collection drive, asking people to donate any phones they aren’t using.

“We’ve already got a laundry basket just from in-house donations,” Powell said. “We hope to get better results by branching out on campus and from the door-to-door drive.”

Amber Webb, a junior in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, said she thinks the door-to-door drive will be great because it brings the community to campus.

“It’s always a good thing when everyone, not just MTSU students, can be involved in events like the phone drive,” Webb said. “It proves to the community that we want them to be part of our education.”

Powell said he hoped the whole community would want to be involved.

“Community service builds good character,” Powell said. “It also brings the community together, and that’s what’s important.”

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