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Students collect 75 bags of trash for annual campus cleanup


By Belle Kim




Wrapped in thick sweatshirts and The North Face jackets, junior Julia Lamorelle and a crowd of students huddled around a white tent Sunday in Dunn Meadow.

It was time for the Civic Leadership Development’s annual Campus Cleanup Day, and they were ready.

Armed with gloves and garbage bags, students departed in groups to five different parts of campus, covering the tailgate fields and various areas surrounding University
housing.

CLD co-president Lamorelle said she was excited to see students come together and give back to their community.

“It’s a tradition,” she said. “We do this every year to make the campus more beautiful. It’s a great way to tie in volunteering with where you live and go to school, and it’s fun.”

CLD is a volunteer organization in the Kelley School of Business. It reaches out to various campus organizations each year and invites them to participate.

More than 150 students registered this year.

“When people participate in an event like this, they get to see the impact that they have on campus,” Lamorelle said. “They’re usually shocked by how much trash there is. It makes them appreciate our campus more and change their own day-to-day
lifestyles.”

Senior Katie Merkhofer, a member of the Kelley Retail Association, said she joined the cleanup because she wanted to get involved and connect more with the people in her group through this shared experience.

“I wanted to partner up with CLD because they have a great goal,” she said. “Everyone wants to make the campus better. Everyone wants students to be involved. Teamwork is great.”

Divided into groups based on the organizations in which they were involved, students gathered trash in their assigned areas for about two hours.

Senior Ashley Yu led a group of about 20 students from the Kelley Student Government, circling Briscoe and McNutt quads and the Kelley School.

“My biggest goal was to bond with other people in my group and get to know each other outside of meetings,” Yu said. “We’re all having a lot of fun.”

They collected five full bags of trash, comprised mostly of cigarette butts.

“I thought the most common thing would be water bottles or paper or something, but there were cigarette butts everywhere,” she said. “It was disgusting. I’m surprised the school doesn’t have lung cancer.”

While picking up cigarette butts strewn about campus isn’t usually what she envisions doing on a weekend, Yu said she was glad she participated.

“Our school gives to us every single day, so the least we could do is come out for one Sunday,” she said. “I hope people will notice but, if nothing else, it will make the people who volunteered more aware of where they throw trash away.”

As other groups returned to Dunn Meadow to report back and grab a slice or two of the provided pizza, CLD gathered the bags in one black heap and counted them.

More than 75 bags of trash were collected this year, breaking last year’s record of 44 bags.

“It’s great to see how much we collected, especially with such an increase,” Lamorelle said.

David Rubenstein, a professor at the Kelley School who was present to encourage and cheer on the students, said he was impressed by all their
efforts.

“I think this is the greatest thing in the world,” he said. “It’s one of the greatest events of our campus. It’s bringing students together who will work together, eat together and spend time together. They’re going to thrive.”

He said the efforts they’ve put in will benefit everyone — the participants and those who did not attend the event.

“We’ll see the results tomorrow when we see how clean the campus is,” he said. “We’ll know how much effort they put in. We’ll see the impact throughout the semester as they’ve created networks from coming together today. Friendships will grow across organizations and it will make Indiana even stronger.”

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