Business clubs and social activist groups may be in abundance at Georgetown, but finding both in a single organization may not be so easy. Adam Alfi (MSB ’11) believes he has found a way to fill this void.

This fall, the first Georgetown undergraduate chapter of the Net Impact organization will become active. Alfi, the chapter’s founding member, said the chapter is a “responsible business club,” particularly concerning issues relating to the environment and other social and ethical concerns.

Sara Schlachter (MSB’11), a member of the new group, said that the organization ultimately tries to bring responsible business and environmental awareness together.

“The point of the group is to promote corporate sustainability and work to reduce our carbon footprint through business practices and large corporations,” she said.

Alfi said that Georgetown, with its mix of McDonough School of Business students, social activists and community leaders, offers an ideal home for such a group.

He further said that he believes the organization will serve as a valuable networking asset for business-minded students.

“We will also be offering many opportunities for students aspiring toward careers in socially and environmentally responsible businesses and corporations to network with, work with and have guest lectures from the professionals, executives, entrepreneurs and grad students who run or will soon work in such companies,” he said.

This semester, the chapter plans to promote the implementation of green campus initiatives that have succeeded at other universities. In November, they will travel to the University of Pennsylvania to attend the Net Impact North America Conference, a consortium of college students and business executives.

Georgetown already has a well-established MBA chapter of Net Impact, and the undergraduate chapter plans to set up a mentoring program with these MBA students.

“[This] would create an unprecedented level of contact, partnership and networking between Georgetown grads and undergrads,” Alfi said.

For undergraduate chapters, the organization charges each chapter a flat fee for membership and unlimited access to the organization’s resources. Though individual membership in the organization can be expensive, with a lifetime membership costing $400, Alfi said he plans to absorb the fee and offer Georgetown students free membership.

Net Impact is not yet a university-sanctioned group or member of the Student Activities Commission, as SAC Chair Sophia Behnia (COL’09) said they must undergo a year-long process to “make sure that they’re a stable organization.”

Among other requirements, the chapter must cosponsor events with other established Georgetown clubs and write a constitution outlining their mission statement and goals. If the club begins the process now, they can be a recognized SAC club as early as April 2009, Behnia said.

Schlachter said the organization’s mission fits right in line with her aspirations.

“I really care about the environment and it is my life goal to do something environmental and work in the business world,” she said.

Alfi said he feels this club meets a middle ground for active Georgetown students who want to combine both aspects of social organizations, as well as a buisiness oriented group.

“I don’t think many business-oriented students feel at home in a strictly `social activism’ club, and I don’t think many socially-activist type students would feel at home in a strictly business club/fraternity, but I think both would feel very much at home in an organization like Net Impact, and I think there’s a demand and a need for this type of organization on our campus,” he said.

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