Volunteers Aim To Clean Up The College Campus

This year will mark the fifth annual College Clean Up Day and happens right before the inauguration of President Donald Christian
This year will mark the fifth annual College Clean Up Day and happens right before the inauguration of President Donald Christian

Students, faculty and staff can now sign up to participate in the fifth annual College Clean Up Day on Wednesday, April 11.

The event, which will take place from 2 to 4 p.m., aims to clean up areas on campus that garner the most foot traffic, resulting in heavy trash buildup. Volunteers can meet at the concourse outside the Student Union where they will be split into groups and sent out with trash bags, rakes, buckets and other items to gather trash.

The first College Clean Up Day was held in 2008. Michele C. Halstead, assistant vice president for finance and administration, said she was walking with former-President Steven Poskanzer and John Shupe, assistant vice president for facilities operations, who both “stopped to pick up trash that had accidently found its way out of a trash bin.”

“As I observed their actions, I thought, ‘Wow, they really care about how the campus looks and wouldn’t it be nice if everyone did this on a regular basis,’” Halstead said.

Halstead said she met with Poskanzer that week to propose a specific day for cleaning the campus. Since the first event, Halstead said they typically have more than 100 volunteers across campus, and 2011’s event had nearly 150 volunteers.

“The success in the event is not measured by the amount of trash we pick up, but by the number of campus community members come out to take part,” Halstead said. “It shows us how much they care about this beautiful place!”

This year’s College Clean Up Day will be held before President Donald Christian’s inauguration on Friday, April 13.

“It just felt ‘right’ to honor Dr. Christian as he officially takes the reins of the campus as the eighth president,” Halstead said. “Dr. Christian has been a big supporter of Clean Up Day since he came on board as Provost in 2009, so why not take the opportunity to put an extra special sparkle in his (and our) big day.”

Although College Clean Up Day normally occurs right before Accepted Students’ Day, Halstead said she knew it was important to keep the campus clean in preparation for the inauguration.

“We’ll have former presidents, presidents from other SUNY campuses be here and [from] other institutions as well, alumni, Chancellor Zimpher, people from the Board of Trustees, so it’s a very public event,” Christian said. “We want to create the best impression we can.”

Halstead said one of the biggest complaints are cigarette butts on campus. She said the “easiest thing to do” to keep the campus clean is to make sure trash makes it into the proper receptacle.

Several organizations on campus are in support of the event such as Sodexo, The College Bookstore and The School of Business.

“College Clean Up Day is important because we all should take an active role in keeping our campus clean,” Halstead said. “We spend a lot of time here as students, faculty and staff, so why not have it be something we care for as much as we do our own homes?”