Clean neighborhood, happy community

Tradition of Adopt-a-Block finishes off Homecoming week festivities

Lea Kopke

More stories from Lea Kopke


Photo by Owyn Peters

Each student got a trash bag and pair of latex gloves for cleaning.

Despite brisk temperatures and a wintry mix, a group of students gathered to assist in cleaning up the Randall Park neighborhood of its post-Homecoming litter.

On Sunday, the University Activities Commission ended UW-Eau Claire’s Homecoming week with its Adopt-a-Block event. University students and organizations were invited to assist in clearing garbage left behind from Homecoming festivities.

Carter Rush, the UAC programming director and a fourth-year political science student, said the event is a long-held UW-Eau Claire tradition that allows students to help build the relationship between themselves and the community.

“Lots of campuses have issues between the college and the community,” Rush said. “Events like this help to bridge the gap. After Homecoming we want to help our neighborhoods to look their best, and not leave them damaged and a mess.”

At the beginning of the event, Rush said students were divided up into teams and given a section of the neighborhood to clean up. They were given a limited amount of time to fill the UAC provided trash bags. At the end of the event, the bags were measured in terms of fullness, and the winning team got a small prize.

Katie Jamieson, a third-year elementary education and Spanish student, joined in the event as part of the Greek Life team.

“It’s a great way to give back,” Jamieson said. “Homecoming creates a lot of garbage, and as students we should help in cleaning it up.”

Similarly to Jamieson, Mike Mumm, a third-year computer science student and a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, said he felt it was important students were the ones cleaning up the community.

“We’re the ones who create the mess,” Mumm said, “It’s good to give back, even if we’re not the people making the mess.”

Austin Gulbrandson, a third-year political science and history student and member of the Historical Randall Park Neighborhood Association Steering Committee, joined in the event as part of the Delta Sigma Phi team. He said he has attended the event for the past two years.

“This is a longstanding tradition that I think is really important to take part in,” Gulbrandson said. “As a resident, I have an investment in the community”

Gulbrandson said he has noticed a difference in the amount of trash left behind after Homecoming due to the Public Good Order ordinance. In addition to addressing public intoxication and public disturbance, the ordinance created regulations regarding the proper disposal of trash left in lawns.

“It’s made a big impact to have more people becoming proactive,” Gulbrandson said, “instead of being reactive.”

The majority of students who come out are members of Greek Life, Student Senate and resident hall committees, Rush said.

“But all students are able to participate,” Rush said, “And anyone interested is welcome to come help out next year.”

Kopke can be reached at [email protected].