DAS Trash Pickup Is More Than A Clean Campus, It Represents Personal Responsibility
February 28, 2018
L-R: Matthew Rodriguez, Haleigh Hopkins, Sarah Brown, Adam Rocko, Bailey Graeper, Seth Stephens, Alex Turner, and Ethan Chirico. (Not pictured: Zach Johnson)
Six members of Catawba College's Dead Athenian Society, DAS, along with the assistance of 3 additional students, collected litter around the campus in late February after a weekend full of campus events. The group began its work in front of Ketner Hall and moved clockwise to sweep the entire campus.
In all 11 bags of trash, weighing nearly 50 pounds, were collected. One of the DAS members, DAS President Ethan Chirico of Salisbury, shared, "Although we collected much of the trash, there is no way we could get it all. We need students to take ownership of campus — only then will we see a shift in the amount of litter on campus."
Chirico explained, "Student ownership of Catawba correlates to responsibility in the classroom, safety on campus, and better graduates. The most influential students on campus are those who live as if this campus is their home and act accordingly. They perform well in the classroom, interact with a host of peers, maintain relationships with professors, take leadership positions with and without titles, close propped doors, and pick up litter on campus. Those students take the personal initiative to do good in the Catawba community; personal responsibility has been weighed and found wanting in the Catawba community."
DAS's mission is to foster budding leaders on campus with the highest standards of care, compassion, and wisdom. Because of that, Chirico said, this trash pickup "holds much more than the physical act: events like this embed meaning to students who seek it out. My greatest hope for Catawba is an institutionalized emphasis on personal responsibility for their education and this institution. This falls chiefly on everyone who received a paycheck with Catawba's seal stamped on it. It falls secondarily on the students."
Chirico added, "God has blessed my steps at Catawba. My professors have charged me with my education and my life — something I am eternally grateful for. I wish for all students to have such a blessing. Through community, one can find their personality. If I am my brothers' and sisters' keeper, I will learn exponentially more than if I relied on myself. If I take responsibility for creating a community for my brothers and sisters whom I care for, my own life will benefit."
In addition to Chirico, other participating students included Matthew Rodriguez, Haleigh Hopkins, Sarah Brown, Adam Rocko, Bailey Graeper, Seth Stephens, Alex Turner, and Zach Johnson.