Many students stood huddled near Admissions and Records on a practically deserted campus on Friday morning, a chilly mist encircling them.
Trays of tiny muffins and danishes sat tidily by containers of steaming coffee on a table with three sign in sheets. The fall semester’s campus clean-up day, sponsored by Associated Student Government, took place Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“We do this event once a semester since like forever,” said Erin Maremont, Student Development Office Assistant. “So it is second nature to us now.”
There were more than 100 students that wanted to participate in the campus clean-up day, but there were a limited amount of free lunches and T-shirts to go around.
“We love having a lot of people,” Maremont said. “But this semester we had so many volunteers who wanted to help. Only the first 100 to RSVP got a free lunch and T-shirt.”
The lunches that were given after the event were provided by the college cafeteria.
“It was raining last spring so we did not have the clean-up day. We are using the T-shirts we would have been using last year,” Maremont said. “We spend about $1,500 on each campus clean-up day on food and T-shirts”.
Each year ASG allocates about $6,000 for the beautification committee, and each year the college allocates about $5,000 to it as well. These amounts fluxuate depending on how much ASG has in its budget.
Every year the compus Beautification Committee spends $3,000 on two campus clean-up days, one per semester. Since this event was started, it has allotted a total of $11,000, spending a little over 27 percent on just two campus clean-up days. Not many know quite how much money is put into a campus cleanup day event.
“I would say it costs $1,000 for T-shirts and food,” said Derrick Tran, 19, political science. “I am here because I love volunteering; it’s good to give back. Plus I like to wake up really early.”
The majority of the students that participated came because they were given extra credit by their professors, two of those being biology instructor Steve Teh and environmental studies instructor Morgan Barrows.
“I am here because I get extra credit for my Intro to Ecology class,” said Amber Schumacher, 18, business. “That is probably not the best reason to be at a campus clean-up day. I see a couple people in my class right now who are probably here to get extra credit also. I don’t know if I’ll participate in any more events at school because I am not really school spirited.”
This college clean-up day does not give any community service, unlike what several students think.
“We have never signed off on community service,” Maremont said. “This is just volunteering, and hopefully no one is misunderstood.”
The Beautification Committee spends the other 63 percent of its allotted money on other campus attractions, such as those round tables in the village, the benches in the quad, and the trashcans dispersed all around the campus.
The group is still debating on spending money on ash trays this year.
Two campus clean-up days each year amounts to $3,000 spent, but is the campus that distasteful?
“Maintenance does a good job keeping the campus clean,” said Maria D. Besnard, Director of Student Development. “We are fortunate here at Saddleback College to have a maintenance that takes pride in a clean campus.”