OUSC cleans up campus, collects 70 pounds of trash

By Jake Smith

Oakland University’s Student Congress gathered support, split up into teams and set out last Thursday in an effort to clean up campus for “Talkin’ Trash.”

“It’s shocking how much trash is out there that you can’t see” said Katie Rose, OUSC’s Environmental, Health, and Wellness Director and the host of the program.“ I walked around the Oakland Center, which we think is generally a cleaner area on campus, and I picked up tons of trash that accumulated within the shrubs and plants,” Rose said. Trash collected ranged from newspapers to assorted food court trash to mounds of cigarette butts.

In just two hours, OUSC and student volunteers picked up 9 garbage bags worth of trash totaling over 70 pounds and that wasn’t even all of it around campus.

“Groups that went further out around the P35 and Meadow Brook areas on campus reported to me that there was so much trash that they didn’t have enough time to pick up so there’s still more out there,” said Rose.

“I think the leading cause (of the trash around campus) would be students not making the extra effort to clean up after themselves, and OU not providing enough resources for disposing trash and cigarette butts,” said Rose. “The problem we’re facing now is that administration doesn’t make recycling a priority so it’s difficult to get them to care enough to supply the bins. They also won’t allow us to put the bins outside even if Student Congress were to supply them.”

While Student Congress is working to get more trash and recycling bins around campus, events like Talkin’ Trash will continue to try  improving the problem on the student side by raising awareness on the ill effects of missing the trash/recycling bins.

About 30 students attended the event and they were all to cover all of the main areas of campus. “I was happy with the turnout, but the more students participating, the better,” said Rose. “I think it was shocking for everyone who participated how much trash was collected and how much was still around campus. I’m hoping that other students noticed participants cleaning up campus and were encouraged to make conscious efforts to keep campus clean.”

Pleased with the success of the program, OUSC may host Talkin’ Trash again in the spring.