Students carry on with community clean up, COVID-19 style

One of the things that COVID-19 hasn’t stopped is students wanting to give back to their community. 

105 students showed up through various organizations on campus to volunteer at the Big Alleyway Clean Up on Saturday Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Volunteers with United Greek Council participating in the Big Alleyway Clean Up. From left: Leonardo Almanza, Vanesa Rios, Berenise Alvarez, Lezley Rodriguez, Karen Barrose, Lesly Blanco, Gerardo Marcial-Matias and Xavion Gill-Murphy Photo by: Veronica Mascorro | News Reporter

The Big Alleyway Clean Up is one of the two big community service events that Ferris puts on every year. This year, the volunteers filled up 24 bags and 11 buckets with trash from across all across Big Rapids.

Ferris hospitality management junior Katie Bittner was one of the students who woke up early to volunteer with the American Marketing Association for the event. 

Bittner, who is from the Big Rapids area, expressed how important it was for her to help out the community. 

“I think it’s important for organizations at Ferris to take part in helping the community of Big Rapids. It feels good to give back to this community because the community gives to us a lot as students.”

As part of safety measures Ferris has been conducting in-person events differently from before. Prior to COVID-19 students would be required to sign into events by swiping their ID cards. Ferris has now begun using the CheckPoint app. 

Through the CheckPoint app all students need to do is input a 4-digit event code, along with their student ID or email, to track their attendance. 

Coordinator of Career and Volunteer center, for the Center for Leadership, Activities, and Career Services (CLACS) office, Michele Albright talked about the different things they were doing to keep the event safe for all. 

“We phased the start time so that we could have multiple groups arrive at different times and kept them to under 10 people per group,” said Albright. “We also made everyone wear face masks and provided everyone with hand sanitizer and gloves.”

Albright expressed how thankful the Big Rapids residents were for the students who volunteered. 

From left: Lezley Rodriguez, Lesly Blanco and Gerardo Marcial-Matias Photo by: Veronica Mascorro | News Reporter

“We covered about 51 alleyways and we even had some groups who went above and beyond and finished with their alley and went around the whole hospital to clean,” said Albright. “The alleyway cleanup was done in collaboration of the city of Big Rapids and the homeowners around town really appreciated the work these students did.”

Students who are interested in volunteering both in-person or virtually can look for volunteer opportunities on the CLACS volunteer center website or through the Bulldog News updates sent via email.