On Saturday, April 7, University of New Haven students participated in a cleanup of Allingtown, Conn. The cleanup, organized by the Office of Community Service, is in its fourth year.
Around 150 students and faculty from the university and Notre Dame High School students participated in this event.
One of the goals of the cleanup is to create a bond with the West Haven community, according to Courtney Skipper, graduate assistant for the Office of Community Service and coordinator of President’s Public Service Fellowship.
“People may have an opinion on the university without actually knowing what we do, or anyone who works here or attends does,” said Skipper. “By getting involved in the community, it helps rebuild a relationship, meet the needs of the community and allow people to know us more personally as opposed to coming up with their own ideas or opinions regarding the University of New Haven.”
The Office of Community Service organizes multiple events ranging from Alternative Spring Break to the Walk Against Hunger, but the Allingtown cleanup is unique.
“It directly targets the community surrounding the university as opposed to going not someone else’s neighborhood to give back to the community by keeping it clean,” said Skipper.
Lauren Cohen, sophomore and brother of Alpha Phi Omega, said she enjoys helping the community, which is what drew her to the cleanup.
“I love community service so much,” said Cohen. “After seeing how much trash was picked I knew we made a difference. Also, the surrounding areas are indirectly part of our campus so seeing trash like bottles and wrappers is kinda sad.”
Julie Briand, junior and brother of Alpha Phi Omega, has participated in the Allingtown cleanup multiple times and said she looks forward to it every semester. Briand participated in the event last year with her fraternity and described it as a “blast.”
Briand encourages students who are debating on signing up to do so.
“It’s a great way to bond with your friends, so if you don’t know anyone invite a friend and make a day of it, or if your friends don’t want to go, sign up and join a group,” said Briand. “If you don’t know anyone it’s also a great opportunity to get to know new people who also like doing service for others. Who knows, you might make new friends from the experience!”