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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Sept. 21, 2007

Keep it clean, keep it green

by Erin Rosacker

It started as an observation, moved to an item of discussion in President's Council and culminated in a campus movement in less than six months. The Keep Iowa State Beautiful Committee, with a diverse membership and support from the student affairs office, has begun its work to clean up campus with an awareness campaign.

"Pretty much any of the big players are represented at the table," said Jennifer Garrett, chair of the committee and coordinator of leadership and service in the Memorial Union's student activities center. "We pulled all those folks together and we tried to figure out what we can do to help with this problem."

Representatives from facilities planning and management, student organizations, athletics and the Ames community are among the group's members. Garrett said the committee is focusing on four initiatives:

  • Organizing campus-wide clean-up events each semester, including a partnership with the Ames Tribune's spring "Stash the Trash" event.
  • Creating teams to monitor assigned areas of campus, similar to the "Adopt-A-Highway" program.
  • Implementing an anti-litter marketing campaign.
  • Encouraging cooperation from groups planning campus events, such as suggesting they order extra trash cans or minimize products that generate debris.

Spreading the word

While the group still is in its beginning stages, work already is under way. The committee adopted the campaign slogan, "Cy says ... Keep it Clean, Keep it Green."

Flyers were posted in campus buildings, a Web site is being developed ( and athletics is making announcements at home football games. FP&M had garbage bags printed with a "help keep campus clean" message, and the Greek community is working on a program that would target dates for fraternities and sororities to help clean their neighborhoods.

The committee made buttons with photos of Cy using trash cans, which members handed out at the SALC welcome back barbecue and the College of Human Sciences picnic.

"Our committee talked about doing a flyer or handout on campus, but we might add to the problem by doing that," Garrett said. "That's why we moved to the buttons. We felt that people wouldn't just toss those, they might keep them."

She said that instead of a campus-wide event this fall, the group will continue to pass out buttons and educate participants at planned events, including Homecoming. The group hopes to continue partnering with similar movements, such as Keep Iowa Beautiful, that would help generate additional funds through grants.


Help keep campus clean

  • Don't litter
  • Encourage others to pick up after themselves (indoors and outdoors)
  • Recycle
  • Pick up trash you see
  • Get involved by contacting the committee (