Sleeping in this weekend was not on the agenda for the fraternity brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE), who were up before noon to participate in a beach cleanup.
The Surfrider Foundation sponsored the cleanup at Haskell’s Beach on Saturday, Nov. 15, from noon to 3 p.m. The event gave the fraternity a chance to clean the beach while fulfilling university-required community service hours.
PIKE community service chair and third-year political science major Phil Swanger organized the collaboration between Surfrider and PIKE. Surfrider provided the fraternity with supplies and suggested the locations that needed cleaning.
“We just told Surfrider we were interested in doing a beach cleanup for the community and they basically referred us to Haskell’s Beach. Surfrider provided us with gloves and trash bags but we’re disposing of the trash ourselves,” Swanger said.
This is the second time the fraternity has worked with Surfrider for beach preservation events. PIKE first worked with Surfrider in the winter of 2003.
“This was our first year affiliating ourselves with Surfrider. We did the beach oil reserve for them in the winter quarter, and since then just kept up our relationship,” said Ryan Grant, fourth-year law and society major and .
Between 30 to 40 fraternity members were present during the cleanup.
“It’s nice to get outside on a Saturday. It’s a relatively nice day today, and it gives us a chance to be at the beach,” said fraternity member and third-year communication major Mike Cosgrave.
PIKE member and third-year English major Dustin Bell said he remained sober Friday night to avoid a hangover during the cleanup.
“I stayed sober last night, so it was pretty easy getting up today,” Bell said. “Charity and sobriety work well together.”
Among the usual beach litter of beer bottles and cigarette butts, some of the members found more unusual items.
“I found a couple of broken bottles, lots of pieces of foam, a couple of gold balls and a dead lizard,” Bell said.
Members were surprised by the amount of trash found on a beach located next to the Bacara Resort. Fraternity members said they had filled up at least half of each trash bag within an hour of arriving.
“We were really surprised there was so much trash here,” Swanger said, “because we thought the resort would maintain most of the trash around its perimeter.”
PIKE members said philanthropy, while mandatory, is also a personal interest.
“We’re doing it because it’s important for us to do what we can to help the community that we live in,” law and society major Bill London said, “and when we can get all these people to work together, it’s a lot better than just working as one.”