Sorority and students volunteer to cleanup Halloween mess

Mariana Silva

The City of Kent and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority have partnered for what may be the first time students participate in Halloween cleanup.

“We figured why not move outside the campus and do something that can involve the entire city, especially in a time that—Halloween is such a big deal—it can get kind of rowdy,” said Alascia Jones, president of the Delta Sigma Theta chapter at Kent State. “People are all over the place and when everybody goes to sleep, you find craziness.”

Kent Service Director Eugene Roberts said this is the first time he can recall students volunteering to clean the city after Halloween. He said the job is normally left to the city, business owners, residents and Kent State.

“This year sounds like Kent State students have stepped up and are willing to say ‘OK, we were part of the party the night before, and now we are going to help clean up our party leftovers,’” Roberts said.

Jones said more than 150 people, including other organizations on campus and individuals, registered for the event. She said she is still hearing from people who want to participate even though the deadline for registration was Monday.

Jones said individuals and groups are still encouraged to register, but people are also welcome to tag along for the cleanup.

“We are just glad we had such a good response and that people actually want to help. We didn’t really know what was going to happen,” Jones said. “This is the first time we ever did anything like this. So we are just happy we had a good response.”

The students will meet from 11 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Sunday at the Spirit Rock near front campus. After that, Jones said students will be divided up into groups to clean the streets between River Street and Midway Drive

Judy Smith, a Lincoln Street resident who has lived in Kent for six decades, said it’s about time students clean after themselves. She added that she doesn’t think Kent State students are the only ones to blame.

Smith said Halloween’s garbage and damage has gotten worse in the past 15 years as more people come to Kent for Halloween.

“The more kids, the more drunks, the more trash,” Smith said. “You have one person, that’s not going to leave that much (trash), but if everybody leaves a piece of something, you are going to have more.”

Smith said glass bottles, empty and full beer cans, clothing, shoes and wigs are some of the commonly found items in her yard after Halloween.

“There shouldn’t have to be a cleanup,” Smith said. “They should police themselves and act like adults if they want to be adults.”

Roberts said the city is donating about 150 trash bags, other smaller bags and 200 pairs of gloves to aid the students in their volunteer work. A city employee will collect the bags after students are done collecting the trash, he said.

Roberts said the city is glad to provide resources, even if it means a slight increase in what would be spent for cleaning after Halloween. The city will also pay overtime to the employee who collects the trash bags.

Roberts said the central maintenance division will continue to do the job they do every year after the celebration, starting downtown at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

Jones said volunteers are encouraged to pick up all they can find and, if possible, separate garbage from recyclables.

“We just want them to pick up everything: cigarette butts, bottles, cans, old pieces of costume, whatever might be left on the street. It’s just a city cleanup,” Jones said.

You can contact Mariana Silva at [email protected].