The University of Maryland SGA unanimously passed a bill Wednesday facilitating a monthly clean-up of off-campus areas.
The bill introduced by Julia Kallaur, a sophomore criminology and criminal justice major and the Student Government Association’s South Hill representative, pulls together a monthly cleanup crew made up of SGA members and any other student volunteers from this university and provides funds for cleanup material.
“Our very great groundskeeper crews already unfortunately do pick up a lot of the trash that college students leave behind,” Kallaur said. “But in terms of everywhere else in the College Park area, no one is really taking responsibility.”
This bill follows the creation of SGA’s Environmental Justice Council in November, which Kallaur proposed. This bill is one of the initiatives that the council has worked on.
Adrianna Giuliani, a junior government and politics major and representative for the behavioral and social sciences college, said she is proud of the work that the council has done to educate students on environmental issues.
“This bill takes it one step further, and saying, yes, we recognize environmental justice is a problem,” Giuliani said. “Not only are we committed to coming up with ideas and educating people on how to end it, but we’re willing to go out and do the work and end it ourselves.“
According to Kallaur, the clean-ups will target trash left behind from students around the bars, neighborhoods and restaurants just off campus.
“College kids are very wasteful, we litter everywhere, people leave their drinks after nights out, and after a while I had just been seeing it all the time and it was kind of making me mad,” Kallaur said.
Alana Ginsburg, a junior environmental science and policy major, said she hopes that the cleanups can further students’ connections with College Park.
“Hopefully, these continued clean-ups will help the students start more conversations about environmental justice just and by walking around in the community,” Ginsburg said.
This month’s clean-up, which will be held on Feb. 26 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., is going to be centered just off South Campus around Leonardtown and in Old Town.