ECOPC Kicks Off Earth Week with Eaton Street Clean-up and Clean Plate Challenge
In the week leading up to their annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, ECOPC hosted a variety of different events, including their Eaton Street Clean-up and Clean Plate Challenge. For the clean-up, the club recruited eight volunteers to pick up litter on the yards, driveways, and sidewalks along Eaton Street. Supplies such as trash bags and gloves were provided by The 02908 Club, who typically send out their own clean-up crew after weekend parties.
The volunteers spent about one hour picking up litter, primarily cans and bottles, staying away from the significant amount of broken glass that littered the street. They plan to host another clean-up with Bio Society, this time at a beach, to close out their Earth Week festivities.
One volunteer expressed her frustration with the blatant disrespect for the property and the community. “What was surprising to me was how it wasn’t just littering and single-use drinks, but it was also clearly deliberate destruction of property…like a TV, or the fact that people put bottles and cans right under people’s tires.” Many volunteers were similarly disgusted by the sheer amount of trash, especially the shattered TV they came across on the sidewalk and the trash going down the drains.
Another volunteer brought up the apparent lack of concern students have for cleaning up after themselves. “What was really disturbing to me was the parking lots between the houses. They were completely covered in cans, bottles, and other trash. There had to have been thousands that no one had the courtesy or care to pick up. I found it really striking, but I think it’s an unfortunate reflection of the culture at PC, and how we don’t value sustainability as much as we should.”
“My thoughts were more like, wow, people can’t walk their dogs here because of all the glass,” another volunteer said. “It’s not safe anymore because of their littering.” Another added, “It’s disrespectful to people who live and drive on the roads regularly that aren’t just seniors.”
Aside from the clean-up, ECOPC also held their second Clean Plate Challenge of the year in Raymond Dining Hall this Tuesday from 4–8 p.m., where they measured students’ leftovers before they were thrown away or composted. Approximately 162 pounds of food scraps were measured by the club during this short four hour period, about 2.5 times more waste than their last event in the fall.
Through this challenge, ECOPC hopes to raise awareness about food waste, and how it’s easy for students to decrease their waste by taking smaller portions. However, many students expressed frustration towards the dining hall’s large portion sizes given at stations that are not self-serve. This is a concern that Sodexo is currently addressing with their staff.
In addition, on Thursday, ECOPC hosted a worms and dirt dessert table in Ray. They hope to see a large turnout at their Earth Day celebration this Saturday, as well as improve environmental awareness on campus through their events.
Letter to the Editor
To the editors:
On Sunday, Feb. 19, Campus Ministry sent its weekly campus-wide email in which it announces upcoming events. One event in particular caught my interest, namely, Emily Albrecht’s talk on Mar 14, “Considering Abortion in a Post-Roe World.” As part of their description of the talk, Campus Ministry writes, “Emily will move beyond slogans to help you base your position on abortion in facts and strong philosophical arguments and will share her own conclusions.” Such wording implies that the talk is educational and that Ms. Albrecht is an expert with formal philosophical credentials, someone who is qualified to deliver a talk on abortion that is not superficial or merely political. The truth, however, is that Ms. Albrecht has no such qualifications or expertise. She works for the Equal Rights Institute, a political organization that coaches pro-life advocates on how to debate their opponents. In her bio for the organization, Ms. Albrecht shares that she holds a B.M. in vocal music education.
Campus Ministry’s description of their event is at best misleading and at worst dishonest. Campus Ministry is, of course, free to invite whomever it pleases to campus to speak on whichever topics it sees fit given the work of that office. But in advertising such events, Campus Ministry ought to remember that Providence College is first and foremost—that is to say, essentially—an institution of higher education (some might disagree and claim that PC is essentially Catholic, but nothing can be essentially Catholic, a point that is easy to see when one remembers that nothing can be born Catholic). Because we are essentially an institution of higher education, Campus Ministry has a responsibility to be honest and forthright with our community about the events it hosts, particularly when those events are presented as educational.
Christopher Arroyo, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy