By Elizabeth Sekkes
As the spring season has slowly emerged on campus, Bridgewater State University students have worked hard to ensure that the grounds in and around the university remain clean.
In honor of Earth Day, many students gathered to participate in the Earth Day 2014 event, which involved students picking up litter that had been thrown on campus and in the town of Bridgewater.
This interactive event was held on April 22, and was hosted by the Institute for Social Justice
Employee grant awarded through Michele Wakin, who is the Executive Director of the Institute for Social Justice.
An Earth Day 2014 committee consisting of grant recipients Donna Wood from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Cynthia Svoboda from Library/Reference Services, and Sue McCombe from the University and Community Partnerships, collaboratively helped to organize the event.
“I’ve always been interested in the environment, and when people carelessly dispose of their trash into the environment they’re disrespecting the Earth and future generations,” Wood said. “It just bothers me that people are so careless and don’t think about the negative impact that their actions have on the Earth.”
McCombe said the event allowed those participating to thoroughly improve the exterior portions of campus in a way that is not always possible during mandatory routine cleaning.
“We know the grounds crew does a great job cleaning the campus,” McCombe said. “But there’s areas on the outer perimeter and ecologically sensitive areas that need extra attention. We’re thankful for the grant from the Institute for Social Justice that enabled us to hold this event on Earth Day.”
Wood said hosting Earth Day 2014 on campus allowed those who are passionate about preserving the Earth to extend their abilities and efforts, while also reminding everyone involved that the pursuit of sustaining the Earth is still acted upon.
“I think Earth Day 2014 brought a positive message to both communities, the town of Bridgewater and Bridgewater State University, that there are people that care about the environment,” Wood said. “And it was obvious by their actions and the time that they took to clean up the campus.”
Svoboda said the event garnered many participants from all different walks of life.
“I think it went extremely well,” Svoboda said. “The weather was extremely cooperative, and we had over 80 volunteers from on and off campus. They included members of fraternities and sororities, as well as Boy Scout members and young children of faculty, because they were on school break.”
Wood said the event was an important means to raise awareness toward the issue of preservation and was a good reminder for students to think twice about their actions.
“It’s important to spread the word and send a message to our younger community to take pride in themselves and their surroundings, and to respect the community that they live in,” Wood said.
Elizabeth Sekkes is The Comment’s News Editor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.