The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student Environmental Coalition cleans up campus

GVL | Aida Dennis

Grand Valley State University’s campus sits on a large expanse of land. To help maintain the campus environment, the Student Environmental Coalition (SEC) held its campus clean-up event, its first event of the year.

The SEC recently formed again after some time being inactive and had high hopes for a greater turnout this year to make a positive impact on campus. They said it was “exciting to see who shows up.”

“The club was pretty non-existent last year, which is why we’re kind of starting from scratch this year,” said the Vice President of the club Katrina Poquette.

SEC President Jolene Bonner said she is excited for the new potential the club has for this school year. She hopes the organization can continue to grow in many new directions. 

Bonner said her reason for joining the club was both because of her Environmental and Sustainability Studies major and because she always loved helping others. After taking her role as president, Bonner felt she had an opportunity to help teach others about crucial environmental issues and help her peers with similar majors explore career paths.

“Our mission would be to educate and spread awareness about different environmental issues going on today and be an educational, and also fun, outlet for students to go to if they have questions about the ENS (Environmental and Sustainability Studies) program here or anything really,” Bonner said. 

Bonner said their kickoff event was important to both the club and the students that attended.

“I just think that this is a really good opportunity for students to get outside and take a break from their homework, meet new friends and come pick up Grand Valley’s campus to make it look even better than it does,” Bonner said.

Around 20 students met at the Cook Carillon Tower on Sept. 12. After a quick “get to know you” activity led by the officers, they split up into groups around campus. During the clean up the groups specifically focused on freshman housing, Laker Village and high-traffic areas such as Kirkhof Center.

Bonner and Poquette said some of their favorite events in years past were clothing-centered, such as a clothing swap and a mending workshop. They said that with fast fashion being a rising issue in the last decade, it is very important to them to be conscious consumers and spread awareness with the clothing-centered events. 

“(The events) raised awareness to reuse and not just in the way of reusing plastic like people always think about, but just reusing clothes instead of just getting rid of them or something like that,” Poquette said. 

The SEC plans to host more events on and off campus this year, such as their trip to the Sustainable Agricultural Project on Sept. 28. During the trip, they will tour the complex and immerse themselves in some of the projects GVSU students have taken on there. The club hopes to host composting workshops and more clothing-centered events to draw in more students. 

“This (the Earth) is our home, and we need to protect it,” Poquette said. “There’s so much that we do, so much that goes on behind the scenes that has an impact on our Earth, and so I think any little way that we can give back is really important. It’s so important to protect it (Earth) for future generations.”  

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