Taking out the trash

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The Spectrum

Student volunteers were scattered across the University Heights area Saturday morning for the bi-annual event UB Gettin' Dirty.
The event, run by the Student Association, involved dedicated students picking up garbage and other litter spread around the South Campus region.
Jennifer Harb, a staff writer for The Spectrum and community engagement liaison to the Student Association, coordinated the event.
"UB Gettin' Dirty is a [bi-annual] event to clean up University Heights, and this was the first year it was held [in the] spring semester," Harb said. "[The event] started at 9:30 a.m. Students signed in at the Main St. Circle and spread out in opposite directions from Main St. to Bailey Ave … to Kenmore Ave."
Chad Burlee, a junior political science major and club services coordinator, explained UB Gettin' Dirty's working method.
"We supplied garbage bags and gloves and worked to pick up the trash for about two and a half hours," Burlee said.
Harb explained that the trash-gathering volunteers covered locations such as Englewood and Winspear Aves, as well as Heath, Flower and Tyler Streets.
"We wanted to expand [the event] to new places this year," Harb said. "[So] we contacted Minnesota block clubs and worked with them, along with Buffalo Reuse, the United Way and the Center for Student Leadership & Community Engagement."
Harb was very pleased with UB Gettin' Dirty and the efforts by UB students and community to make the South Campus neighborhood more beautiful.
"I thought we were very successful – we had a great turnout and the clubs are always very enthusiastic about participating in [the event]," Harb said.
Harb estimated that some 150 to 200 volunteers turned out for this year's grimy work, and hopes the numbers will only increase when the event is held in the future.
"It really served our purpose to see [the 150 volunteers] working together – it was great," Burlee said.
Even though the number of student turnouts this semester was considerable, Burlee admitted that having UB Gettin' Dirty scheduled the morning after SA's Spring Gala might have affected attendance.
"This is the second time I have been involved in this event, and you can see the difference with [the number of] people showing up, when compared with the Gala schedule," Burlee said.
Mary Monahan, a sophomore business and international studies major and intern for Student Affairs, agreed.
"There was reduced attendance because of the busy event schedule [such as Gala and the Nick Orrange run], but it was still inspiring to see kids help out around the Heights," Monahan said.
Despite the reduced attendance when compared to other semesters, Burlee was pleased with what UB Gettin' Dirty stands for and the benefits it brings to the city of Buffalo.
"I was really [happy] with things and how it turned out. It's really great to work for a good cause and give back to the community," Burlee said.
To reward their hard work, SA provided volunteers with free pizza and T-shirts to commemorate the event.
Harb hopes that the ideals promoted in the UB Gettin' Dirty campaign will continue and that it will be an event student volunteers can look forward to in the future.
"I hope [that UB Gettin' Dirty] will become a mainstay on campus and that participation remains [high]," Harb said.

E-mail: features@ubspectrum.com