Student Senate Tackles the Trash Problem


Nicholas Shea

Lauren Wilson, Writer

The average American produces 4.3 pounds of garbage per day, according to a 2011 Duke University study. With 2,900 students on campus, that equals 12,470 pounds of trash, and not all of it makes it into the trash can.


Student Senate sent out a survey to students and staff to determine their semester project. Choices included student attendance, litter and other problems that face the student body. The survey was met with staggering agreement on the trash problem.


“We’ve heard from our administration that trash has been an issue,” Student Senate sponsor Amber Leaton said. “Trash overwhelmingly won with both faculty and the students. Dr. Kimbrell even challenged us last semester to work on the trash, because it is an issue.”


Student Senate has committed to encouraging students to pick up their litter.


“I see trash all around campus,” senior Hannah Earls said. “I pick it up when I can, but in Student Senate there’s only about 50 of us and that’s not enough.”


The first step of the campaign was to pin posters around campus.


“I made the one that says, ‘I know you’re in a dash, but throw away your trash,’” Earls said.


Student Senate’s semester-long push for a cleaner campus will include several events to get students involved. A “Trash Bash” is currently in the works to hold a trash-collecting competition between the different lunches.


“We’re trying to have a social media campaign as well, and also we want to have a competition at lunch,” Leaton said. “We’re still working out the details on what the prizes are going to be, and administration is going to help us out with that.”


At the end of the semester, Student Senate will re-evaluate and determine if the campaign is still needed in the second semester. Earls hopes that the excitement behind the campaign will translate to the student body and improve participation.
“We have really high expectations, and we know our student body can do it,” Earls said. “It’s just a matter of doing it.”