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MUSG hosts neighborhood cleanup event over weekend

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Photo by Andrew Schilling / andrew.schilling@marquette.edu

Photo by Andrew Schilling / andrew.schilling@marquette.edu

Marquette Student Government and volunteers from across the university gave new meaning to the phrase “spring cleaning” during a multiple block project to clean up the Avenues West neighborhood this weekend.

The event involved 75 participants who varied from students, faculty, and officers from the Department of Public Safety. Participants moved throughout the area picking up trash with bags, gloves and aluminum pick-up tools.

This is the second neighborhood cleanup held by the MUSG, the first held last semester in November.

The idea for this event was formed by MUSG President-elect Zach Wallace and current MUSG President Kyle Whelton. Both Whelton and Wallace sit on the Neighborhood Excellence Committee, a committee made up of community sponsors, Marquette faculty and students who review neighborhood issues such as safety, aesthetics and development of community standards.

“We thought it’d be great to try and create a day of service to focus on our neighborhood and giving back in a way that we hadn’t really done before,” Wallace said.

Volunteers were split into twelve groups who were assigned to clean up certain areas from 12th Street to 27th Street, and between State and Clybourn streets. The total area covered by the volunteers was approximately sixty-four square blocks, an increase from the first clean up over fall which covered twenty-four square blocks.

“We’ve got community members, property managers, land lords, DPS, MPD, students, Marquette administration — it’s great,” said Dan Bergan, assistant director of university apartments and off-campus student services. “There’s really a lot of great support for it.”

Bergan first became involved with the first clean up event which was held last semester.

“I’ve worked at Marquette for the past ten years, and to see this enthusiasm combined with Dr. Lovell’s investment in the near west side is very exciting,” Bergan said.

Each volunteer group was assigned a group leader who led the group to their designated cleanup zone. MUSG reached out to leaders of other student organizations and asked if they’d be willing to lead groups for the cleanup, including hall councils, fraternities, the Evans Scholars, and volunteer organizations such as Circle K.

“I think it’s really important to do good for other people, to step up and just help other people out. This has been a really good experience so far and I hope we can do it in upcoming years,” said Lauren Jones, president of the Circle K international at Marquette.

“This was a big deal for us, we really wanted to help out with the community in any way we could, and we thought this would be a good opportunity,” said Austin Lower, a member of Delta Chi and a sophomore in the College of Communication. “I’d done the hunger clean up once before so I thought this would be something similar to that, and a fun way to give back to the community.”

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