Students work to clean up campus after winter months


Brock Brown and Gracie Terrall, Reporter and News Editor

Students, faculty and student organizations gathered April 13 for the twelfth annual “Spruce Up SDSU Day” where they cleaned the sidewalks, parking lots and lawns across campus.

As South Dakota State University starts to warm up, the trash and garbage left behind from the winter months has started piling up, leaving the campus a little rough.

Event coordinator and SDSU’s Sustainability Specialist Jennifer McLaughlin said that the event continues on so students can take part in improving the campus they call home.

“As the snow melts and the spring winds blow, this trash becomes highly visible,” McLaughlin said. “‘Spruce Up SDSU Day’ is a great way to come together as a Jackrabbit community to keep our campus clean.”

Students had the opportunity to sign up as a student organization or as an individual group. These groups were then assigned a section of campus to pick up trash, which included Jackrabbit Village, the greenspace outside the Wellness Center, Southeast parking lot and around various classroom buildings.

Hannah Owens, a freshman graphic design major, was one of the people who didn’t sign up with a group, but rather chose to independently sign up to help clean.

“I’m a student living on campus, so I am sure I have added to some of the trash that’s out here, even if not intentionally,” she said. “I’m just cleaning up after my own mess.”

According to McLaughlin, organizations like TRIO, Greek Life chapters, faculty and services staff also participated in cleaning up campus.

Events like this have been held in the past, with the first starting in 2009. Lewis Brown, then the dean of the College of Engineering, started a “Spruce Up SDSU Day” to rid the campus of the garbage left over from winter. Today, the event is run by Facilities and Services.

“I think it’s important to be involved in the place that you’re living in and to be a part of making that place better,” Tessa Holiens, a freshman interior design major, said. “It’s really important to foster the good community. Anything I can do to make SDSU better is a very welcome opportunity.”

Holiens accompanied Owens in picking up trash outside of Thorne Hall. They both expressed the importance of the SDSU community helping make campus a better place, and the importance of leaders following through on their commitments to do so.

“There is great legislation that we have in our student government, but we need people who are willing to get their hands dirty, literally,” Owens said. “We need more foot soldiers who are going to do the groundwork, not just talk.”

McLaughlin stressed that if students were unable to attend the event and they still want to help clean up campus, they are encouraged to reach out to Facilities and Services for trash bags and locations for recycling and trash drop off.