Greek Life is raising money for research on how plastic affects marine life. Photo by Greg Clark.

The University of Rhode Island’s Greek Life is holding Philanthropy Week for the duration of this week in order to raise money that will go towards researching how plastics and microplastics affect the ocean. 

Greek Life hopes to raise $70,000 this year to go towards their selected causes. Greek Life is also raising money for Fraternity Circle renovations.  

Philanthropy Week is an annual event that is held by Greek Life to raise money for a different cause each year. Fraternities and sororities are paired with each other for the week and compete in daily events and raise money. Each member is required to raise a minimum of $35 and participate in events during the week.

Junior Erin Yabroudy, philanthropy and service chair for URI Greek Life, has worked with the vice president of Philanthropy and Service to coordinate what money was being raised for this year and how they would get the money.

“This year we have two benefactors,” Yabroudy said. “We have ocean plastics and microplastics, that’s an initiative to start [undergraduate] research. Faculty will run it and we have a lot of professionals from the environmental field. They will help us understand how plastic is broken down in the oceans. The second benefactor is the Collegiate Capital Fund and that is to clean up Fraternity Circle, to make it an area that people can hang out.”

Last year the money that was raised went towards building a school overseas. Yabroudy said that when deciding upon the benefactors for this year’s Philanthropy Week, they wanted to find benefactors that would have both a local and global impact. That is why it was decided that the money raised would go towards research on plastics and microplastics.

Junior Karina Costello, the programming chair for URI Greek Life, organized all of the events being held this week and oversees all of the events to make sure that Greek Life members attend events and contribute to Philanthropy Week. She also works with Yabroudy to get local businesses to sponsor events.

“Businesses are always very excited to help out because most of the participants are our students,” Costello said. “They donate gift cards to us, so for events like bingo students can win them.” 

When asked about what Philanthropy Week means to her, Costello said, “The way I see Greek Life is that it’s not about us, it’s about our philanthropy and our benefactors and what we are doing to help them.”

URI Greek Life students over 21 years old participated in bingo on Tuesday night at Whalers Brewery and those under 21 years old participated in bingo in Ram’s Den. Students played bingo to win gift cards to local businesses. By the end of the night, they had already raised $33,000 to go towards their goal of $70,000.

On Wednesday night, organizers held a game of capture the flag at Meade Stadium. 

On Thursday night URI Greek Life plans to hold a Rock Band tournament in Ram’s Den. On Friday organizers plan to host ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ in Edwards Hall. 

Additionally, on Friday night, they will announce how much money Greek Life raised for their benefactors.