Student organizations looking for additional funds can participate in Clean Up Columbus, a monthly program funded by the Undergraduate Student Government that pays for cleaning up trash in off-campus areas.
Jack Tumulty, USG director of student affairs and a second-year in finance, said Clean Up Columbus is able to fund 35 student organizations per event.
“It brings together primarily student organizations throughout the Ohio State community,” Tumulty said. “For participating, we fund student organizations $100.”
Tumulty said each organization should bring four members to its cleaning date in order to remain eligible for funding, but there are no other requirements on how to receive or use the money.
Julia Meyer, USG deputy director of student resources and a third-year in economics, said she participated in Clean Up Columbus as a member of Phi Chi Theta, a professional business fraternity.
“From this event, we were able to get $100 that goes toward our professional development programs, like different workshops and our professional retreat to Chicago,” Meyer said.
Meyer said there were clearly marked maps given to each organization to show them where to focus their efforts.
“Our map was of 10th Avenue, so we walked down a couple blocks and covered that whole street on each side of the sidewalk picking up trash,” Meyer said.
Tumulty said the program has expanded this year to collaborate with Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement, Sorority and Fraternity Life and the nonprofit Keep Columbus Beautiful.
“Keep Columbus Beautiful provides all of the cleanup supplies — such as trash grabbers, gloves and trash bags,” Tumulty said.
Rachel DeMooy, the off-campus residential experience manager for Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement, said there have been cleanups around the campus area for a few years but the organization is pairing with USG in 2023.
“Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement has been executing cleanups for a couple years now,” DeMooy said. “When we realized that we were trying to all do the same effort, we figured our resources would be much better pooled together.”
DeMooy said nearly 200 students participated in Clean Up Columbus during the fall semester.
“I have definitely seen an increase in the number of participants that we’ve had interested in cleaning up their community this year,” DeMooy said. “I think with everyone’s general awareness of the environmental impacts it has, I am seeing an increase in interest in making sure that they are contributing to that.”
Tumulty said funding is not the only thing students can gain from cleaning up their community.
“We can also provide an organization service hours,” Tumulty said. “If you are an individual not part of an organization but want to come out and volunteer, we can provide you with service hours as well.”
Meyer said Clean Up Columbus is also a great bonding experience for members of student organizations.
“I would say to any organization, definitely show up. If not even for the money, just to spend some quality time with the members of your organization,” Meyer said. “Get to know each other better. Enjoy some free donuts and coffee at the end, while also feeling good knowing that you’re doing a good thing to help out the campus community. The money is just an added bonus.”
Organizations can sign up for as many dates as they want throughout the year at go.osu.edu/cleanupcbus. Spring semester cleanups are Feb. 19, March 26 and April 16 from 10 a.m. to noon on the South Oval.