Aaliyah Pollard | Staff Writer
Hampton University’s freshman council hosted a group clean-up in the Student Center on March 9 as part of freshman week. Originally, the cleanup was supposed to be held behind the cafeteria bridge but was moved to the Student Center due to the weather.
Attendees were tasked with cleaning the closet near the stage in the Student Center.
People put themselves in groups according to the task that they took on. One group focused on moving the largest bins and decorations out of the closet for more floor space. The bins contained old decorations for Christmas, balls, NSO week, and other occasions celebrated on campus. The next group organized and cleaned the bins that the previous group carried out, while the last group focused on discarding the trash and items beyond repair from the containers.
Event organizers Harlem Morton and Holland Bodner said they created the cleanup as an opportunity for freshmen to start collecting required service hours and understand the overall importance of doing community service.
“This is giving [students] an opportunity to earn some community service hours and do good for the student center and the school overall,” said Morton, a first-year computer science major from Laurel, Maryland.
To ensure that the closet was clean before 7 p.m., when try-outs for another program would start in the area that we were moving things from the closet to, everyone worked as swiftly as possible and created plans that would make them reach the goal as a team. The closet was filled with bins of decorations for various occasions, as well as extra supplies that could be used to decorate the Student Center for events and holidays. People quickly created makeshift assembly lines to move heavy items out of the space. Others started organizing the items in bins outside the closet. The last group focused on trashing things and swept at the end.
At the start of the event, the participants were unsure if they would be able to fix the state of the closet because of how packed the closet was. The containers were packed with items, large decorations almost completely blocked people from entering the closet, and there was a significant amount of broken items and trash. Though getting community service hours was the main incentive for attending the clean-up, the participants started to realize how cleaning the closet would be helpful for event planners in the future. The work that they were doing now, would help others in the future find the proper decorations without having to dig through broken objects and trash. Therefore, with the purpose of making things easier for future students, the students were able to understand the meaning behind the event more than before and the goal was met almost half an hour before the deadline. That meaning being the importance of prioritizing the needs of your community by keeping it clean and as healthy as possible.
“While it was a bit challenging trying it to figure out where everything goes, it was fun to feel the energy around between the students,” said Holland Bodner, a first-year journalism major from Raleigh, North Carolina.