Comets Chip In To Keep Campus Clean

Share

06.15.2020
Students Girish Ram Chinnakavanam Dhayalan (left), a graduate student in information technology and management, and Andrew Njo, a senior in political science, participate in campus cleanup efforts.
Anyone in the UT Dallas community who is interested in helping to keep the campus clean of litter can sign up for the new Watershed Warriors program initiated by the Office of Sustainability.
The program enables students, faculty and staff to help provide stewardship of the campus while practicing social distancing. Students who participate can earn volunteer points through the Sustainability Service Honors program.
The Watershed Warriors program was launched as an offshoot of the campus cleanup efforts started last year by Ecology Representatives Caroline Lonneman, a junior in geosciences, and Sophia Boisvert, a senior in software engineering, to tidy up areas of campus. After COVID-19 hit, other students reached out to find ways to contribute to the campus environment while staying safe.

“We realized we had these supplies, and we had these students wanting to help, so we thought we’d start a program and offer it to other students.”
– Gary Cocke, associate director of energy conservation and sustainability

The program provides participants with supplies, including grabbers, recycle and trash bags, and nitrile gloves.
“We realized we had these supplies, and we had these students wanting to help, so we thought we’d start a program and offer it to other students,” said Gary Cocke, associate director of energy conservation and sustainability at UT Dallas.
The name Watershed Warriors was selected to help students connect the dots that picking up litter is more than just keeping the campus beautiful — it is environmental stewardship, Cocke said.
“Anytime you are on land, you are on a watershed. Litter can affect water quality and damage ecosystems, so this is about watershed protection and taking care of the habitat and wildlife on campus,” Cocke said.
“I think it’s a pretty cool way to respond to our students’ interests.”
To sign up for the Watershed Warriors program, email sustainability@utdallas.edu.
–Robin Russell