At The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, a campus-wide clean-up project happened on April 29th from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
NRHH, the National Residence Hall Honorary, and RHAA, the Residence Hall and Apartment Association, are in charge of putting the event together through the community center. The project focuses on having students “continue to keep the campus beautiful by picking up litter and cleaning up trash,” said Tyler Priebe, the organizer of the event. The community center provides refreshments and snacks for all the students who volunteer to help in the clean-up project.
Tyler Priebe, a senior here at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, is leading the 2023 Campus Clean-up. Priebe’s goal for this project is to bring attention to NRHH and the positive things they do in housing. “My goal for this year was to create one service project and lead it by the NRHH President, and I feel that I have done that.” He led a clean-up project back in 2017 at Menasha High School as well and wanted to bring cleanliness here to Green Bay! He got the idea from Jeff Willems at UREC. Willems worked in housing and needed someone to take over. He also worked with Ben Dresdow in August 2022, who came to speak at an RM training session.
The idea was brought to the attention of Preibe in August. Planning started in January, Marketing promotions in March, and just happened on April 29th, 2023. There are around 50 people signed up for the clean-up this year, which makes it the biggest group for campus clean-up yet. Priebe hopes to bring more awareness to keeping the campus clean. “When picking up trash is considered a group effort, more people are willing to pick up the trash and not litter on the ground,” Priebe said.
There are nine leaders in charge of running the campus-wide clean-up. One of the leaders is Abbi Pflum, a senior at UWGB majoring in Communication. Her role in the campus clean-up is to assign group members to different sections of the assigned area to clean up the campus.
“I am always an advocate for volunteering and cleaning up the environment. I especially feel strongly about it when it comes to the UW-Green Bay campus,” says Pflum. “We sit on so much land that is used by students, staff, and the community. Since so many people take advantage of the campus and the trails around it, it is important to work to make sure that the campus stays clean.”
Prior to her involvement in this event, Pflum has been involved in other volunteer work on campus, including UWGB’s Day of Service event. “This event is a great opportunity if you are looking to get involved,” Pflum says. “I hope to see students and staff working together to clean up the university. We have a beautiful campus and I hope that through our efforts, we can keep it clean and healthy.”
During the clean-up, the weather did not cooperate, and students still picked up the campus in the rain. Students used gloves, trash bags, and trash pickers to fill up their trash bags. There were ten different designated groups for the clean-up that picked up trash all around different spots on campus. At least 20 bags were full of trash that students picked up around our campus.
UWGB sophomore Cadeance Lindsley shared her experience participating in the campus clean-up. “I decided to participate to help make our campus a clean and safe place for our wildlife.” Lindsley got involved after hearing about the event from its organizer. She wanted to get involved after being frustrated with the state of the campus. “What influenced my desire to participate in this event was the frustration of being on the beach or the trails around campus and constantly seeing garbage,” she said. Lindsley said she would participate in the event again in the future and said that she would like to see the event expand to off-campus spots such as the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. To Lindsley, keeping the campus clean is as simple as picking up after yourself. “I used to always be told, ‘leave the place better than you found it,” she said.