TJC is becoming more sustainable. Student Senate and Facilities & Construction are working on a new project to ‘Keep TJC Beautiful.’
“We really just want students to take pride in their campus and make sure that it stays beautiful. We’re rich in tradition, but if we’re not taking care of the buildings and of our campus we’re not going to stay that way,” said Lauren Tyler, Director of Student Life.
The project consists mainly of getting students to participate on the maintenance on campus, picking up trash and making sure the grounds and facilities are presentable. Mark Gartman, Associate Director of Facilities & Construction, was the one who came up with the idea for this new initiative.
“Since I’m in charge of our facilities, that includes the grounds, gardens, flower beds, sidewalks parking lots… and we spend a lot of time and money keeping them clean. We have a lot of trash that accumulates in those places, trash everywhere,” said Gartman.
Working with the facilities, Gartman has access to information, such as how much money is spent to clean the campus.
“Trash on the ground costs money to pick up, that’s money that could be put back into your academic program, it could be put back into your buildings to make them comfortable,” said Gartman. “So I was thinking one time ‘what can we do to get students involved in this?’”
Getting together, Tyler and Gartman found a way to get students involved. One of the initiatives of the project will be to give organizations on campus the the opportunity to adopt a building.
“We’re working with the maintenance department to essentially designate areas to each organization or department and they can adopt a building and try to keep TJC beautiful. Focusing on the external part of the building, picking up trash and keeping it clean,” said Tyler.
According to Gartman’s project: “If 1,200 (about 10 percent of TJC’s enrollment) throw one piece of trash on the ground it becomes 1.200 pieces of litter that pollutes our college grounds. If the same number (1.200) of students pick up one piece of trash than the campus is not polluted by garbage… Encourage students to take pride in their campus and encourage others not to litter.”
To keep students motivated to pitch in on the initiative, Gartman plans on rewarding those who do. Aramark has pledged support for this program by providing coupons and specials for those students who participate.
“If I happen to see you picking up a piece of trash, I would like to give you a reward. Aramark, including Chick-fil-A, Subway and the cafeteria have agreed to participate, but we haven’t gotten that far yet,” said Gartman.
The project is still in its planning phase. According to Gartman and Tyler, full information about the initiative will be given to students during the spring semester. They expect it to become not only a student initiative, but a campus-wide one.
According to Gartman’s project: “Student buy-in as well as faculty and staff support will make a difference in this trash problem on our campus.”