Rowan Environmental Action League (REAL) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) partnered on Saturday, March 9 to host a campus cleanup event, which turned out to be one of the most well-attended in recent years.
The event, which lasted two hours, began at Rowan Hall and followed the stream through campus to Abbott’s Pond near the Holly Pointe Commons dorms.
ASCE and REAL have worked together to host campus cleanups in the past, but, due to less-than-ideal weather conditions, this was the first one of the semester.
Chris Haugland, the SGA chairman for ASCE and a junior civil engineering major, emphasized that the goal of the event was to clear the campus of trash.
“Both clubs have heavy ties to the environment, so we want to make sure the campus that we’re on is clean and enjoyable for others, ‘cause when there’s trash everywhere, it hurts the environment, but it also hurts the whole aesthetic feel,” Haugland said.
Though most of the trash found along the cleanup path consisted of plastic bags, cigarette butts and food wrappers. Some of the more unusual items included a single Ugg shoe, a bike and a fire extinguisher, all three of which were found in Abbott’s Pond.
By the end of the two-hour cleanup, the approximately 30 attendees had collected 10 bags of trash and recyclables from the campus.
All the participants were determined throughout the event to get as much litter as possible and several took any necessary measure to reach difficult places. Some formed human chains to help each other reach trash at the bottom of steep inclines along the stream. Others climbed onto tree stumps, branches and rocks in the middle of the stream to retrieve discarded trash.
Some of the tools the students used included grabbing claws, which allowed them to reach trash that was far away and surprisingly, a shopping cart. The shopping cart, which was used to carry some trash bags, was retrieved from one of the ponds during a campus cleanup event last semester.
Not only was the event attended by members of REAL and ASCE, but the Quidditch Club and students from Haugland’s residence hall came to help with the event.
One of the Quidditch Club members, sophomore undecided major, Carlos Bernard, came out to the event to support his club and ended up enjoying the event.
“It’s nice just picking up the trash and cleaning up,” Bernard said. He compared it to his Back to the Boro experience last year.
After the event ended, ASCE purchased frozen yogurt from Yogo Factory as a treat for the people who decided to stick around after the cleanup was over. This was the first time they did this.
“It’s a nice way to just make sure everyone gets to know one another, [rather] than just be that one guy you stood next to and helped pick up trash,” Haugland said. “It helps to build more camaraderie, especially across the clubs.”
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