Students help clean up UNA campus

Samantha Vise, Staff Writer

The University of North Alabama held a campus wide cleanup on April 22. Although the cleanup coincided with Earth Day, it was more directed towards cleaning up campus rather than the Earth. The cleanup was held from nine a.m. to noon and began at the Guillot University Center (GUC). All volunteers were given free t-shirts before they began the cleanup. 

The event was sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), the Office of Health and Well Being, the University Center Operations and Event Management and UNA’s Facilities, Administration and Planning office. The cleanup was spearheaded by Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Tammy Jacques. Jacques also serves as the advisor for SGA.  

“It’s a way for students to give back to the campus,” said Jacques. “It’s a good way for students to be able to take pride in their own community by keeping it nice and looking good.”

Only about 20 volunteers showed up, but according to Jacques, that was plenty. This was the first year that she has hosted the cleanup, and the turnout was perfect. 

“It’s a small group of students, but such an amazing group,” Jacques said. “They’re working hard, and they have been so positive and willing to help out. Since it’s our first year doing it, we’re just kind of getting our feet on the ground and seeing what we need to do in the future. Students are going around cleaning railings, stairwells, walkways, benches and trash cans all over campus.”

According to Jacques, her goal was to help clean up things that facilities have not had time to get to because they have had larger projects going on. Students mainly were wiping down windows, signs, trash cans and railings throughout campus. 

“Facilities already do an amazing job on campus, but there’s those little things that they might not have time to get to right away, like wiping down benches and railings,” Jacques said. “To get students engaged in that process gives them a sense of ownership. This is their community, their home away from home, and we want it to look nice. To be able to take care of their home away from home is an easy way to give back.”

The students began at the GUC and made a circle around all of the main buildings on campus. That took up the majority of volunteers’ time, and then they finished at the residence halls. 

It was a beautiful, sunny day for the cleanup. Although it was not a glamorous job, the student volunteers seemed to be enjoying themselves and giving back to the UNA community. According to Jacques, the students seemed very eager to get the cleanup started and move from task to task. 

“Today, we’re going around campus and cleaning up for Earth Day,” said Angalic Rolle, a student volunteer. “I’ve had a great experience. I have a love for the Earth because I was in ‘Students for Earth’ in high school. Cleaning up makes for less pollution and less garbage for the animals. I feel like [the cleanup] is a great way to help nature and make the campus beautiful.”

Buckets of wipes were located at multiple stations throughout campus, and students were equipped with gloves and trash bags. Jacques stationed herself at the GUC, passing out water and snacks for volunteers.

“I feel really great about [the cleanup],” said Jasmine Parks, another student volunteer. “I think it’s a really important thing to do. I really like the Earth and taking care of the place where I live, and I think this makes the community much nicer.”

One volunteer pointed out that the cleanup was a great way to get outside and take a break from being inside.

“My favorite part about the cleanup is being outside,” she said. “I’ve been cooped up studying for my exams, so this is a nice break.”