Students team up for neighborhood project

February 7, 2012 5:43 AM

Julia Gautreaux

Tulane students got down and dirty (literally!) by participating in the “Catch the Basin” event on Sunday (Feb. 4). The citizen-led initiative was part of an effort by the administration of New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu to reduce residential-street flooding by removing debris from catch basins.


Tulane students Madeline Ilibassi (left), a sophomore, and Kara Grossman, a junior, both members of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, pitch in with a New Orleans cleanup project on Sunday (Feb. 4). (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

The students focused their cleaning attention on Broadway Street, a heavily populated and well-used avenue that borders the uptown campus.

“It’s important that we get students involved in this initiative to take responsibility, not only as Tulane students, but as New Orleans residents,” said Theodore Nathan, senior program coordinator for campus community partnerships at the Tulane Center for Public Service. “The fact that the City of New Orleans reached out to [us] to help launch this initiative says a lot about the reputation and impact our students have in New Orleans. I think it shows that if and when volunteers are needed, Tulane is more than capable of meeting the call.”

The majority of participants are active sorority members who said they feel obligated to keep the area clean since Broadway Street functions as Tulane’s “Greek row” of housing.

Sophomore Maggie Fleming, philanthropy chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, encouraged her sisters to participate because not only does Broadway’s cleanliness affect sorority members on a personal level, it also is “a great way for people to see that sororities are more than just social clubs. They are groups of people who truly are involved in their community.”

Students participating in the event responded with enthusiasm, pride and commitment, with many vowing never to litter again. “This project was led, organized and managed by Tulane students. It is something we should all be proud of,” said Nathan.

Julia Gautreaux is a sophomore communication major.


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000