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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MarKept Move-Out seeks a more sustainable campus

Photo by Keifer Russell
The program will offer students a chance to dispose of clothing, unopened non-perishable food items, small appliances and other objects they won’t need for the coming year while also giving back to the campus community.

In an effort to be more sustainable, Marquette is rolling out a new initiative: MarKept Move-Out. The program will offer students a chance to dispose of clothing, unopened non-perishable food items, small appliances and other objects they won’t need for the coming year while also giving back to the campus community.

Chelsea Malacara, sustainability and energy management coordinator, has been working on this initiative for a little over a year. She said she coordinated a comparable program at her previous job with the University of Southern Maine.

“It’s a similar concept but a different twist on it in that it’s very Marquette-branded and follows Marquette ethos [being] related to our mission of giving back to people,” Malacara said.

Since this is the first year of the program, it will only be available in four select residence halls. The project will officially start May 1 when donation bins will be placed in the pilot dorms: Schroeder, Abbottsford, Carpenter and Cobeen. The bins will be there until May 14, and after that, the donations will be collected, counted and stored over summer break until they can be resold during move-in.

The initiative sparked from a competitor in the 2021 Brewed Ideas Challenge. Marquette alum Carlos Gonzalez won the competition in the social innovation category, and he pitched an idea to find a more sustainable way for students to dispose of or reuse their items.

“After he pitched his idea, Chelsea reached out to me and said, ‘I love this, I know Carlos is graduating, how can we help make this a reality?’” Kelsey Otero, senior director of community engagement and mentor to Gonzalez, said. “Chelsea and I, and Carlos continued to stay involved in the conversation, and others started talking about a plan for how we could launch a prototype.” 

Malacara brought in Otero and Sarah Knott, a sustainability student manager and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, to help get the program started. 

“[Kelsey] focuses on the marketing and communications side, and Sarah and I focus on the logistics and operations of carrying the program out,” Malacara said.

The MarKept team will organize the products to resell during the move-in period for the fall semester. International, graduate and first-generation students will get priority shopping at the resale event. Malacara mentioned that they are hoping to sell things at a lower price point along with having a free section. 

While the initiative is focused primarily on the pilot dorms this year, students from other halls are also welcome to drop their donations in the bins. Additionally, if students who live in apartments want to participate, they can bring their objects to a storage unit in Lot D. However, the lot is only accessible on foot and will not allow cars to be driven in.

MarKept has recently started more outreach and marketing of their program, and it’s generating talk amongst students.

“I think it’s a great program and a great way to get items for people who needs things next year but possibly aren’t willing to spend exorbitant amounts of money,” Jakita Fleck, a first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “I thinks it a great way to minimize the waste because people are going to just throw away things that are still good when they could be thinking of how to reuse them.”

Knott also said that students are excited because it will help ease the move-out process, especially by preventing the clutter that comes with packing up.

Otero has seen an increased focus on sustainability and ‘going green’ within the student body, and she hopes it bodes well for the program.

“I think our students who are coming in now care a lot about the environment, and they want to be stewards for how we think about Marquette as a sustainable university and the role that individually we can all play,” Otero said.

To ensure the continuation of this program, the team is hoping to meet its set benchmarks and goals. 

“We’ll be counting how many items we have … We’ll also be looking at the pickups for the dumpsters at the dorms. Every year we track how many trash and recycling pickups, so I’ll be looking to see if it was at the same as last year or did we actually reduce the amount of pickups because of this program?” Malacara said.

Otero also explained that one of the goals is to make the program self-sustaining which will help for the continuation of the initiative throughout the years. The funds gained from the resale event will be put back into the initiative and pay for an expansion of the program, better resources and other costs.

MarKept will be accepting donations May 1-14 through the bins located in residence halls. For more information about what can be donated and how to get involved, check the MarKept Move-Out website.

This story was written by Izzy Fonfara Drewel. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Izzy Fonfara Drewel
Izzy Fonfara Drewel, Executive Opinions Editor
Izzy Fonfara Drewel is a junior from Papillion, Nebraska majoring in journalism with a double minor in music and Spanish. This school year she will be serving as the Executive Opinions Editor. In previous years, she made her home on the Arts & Entertainment desk as the Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor. Outside of the Wire, Izzy plays the trumpet in the Marquette University Bands and spends her free time trying new restaurants and playing card games with her friends. She is excited to branch out from A&E and dive into a new experience on the Opinions desk.
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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