The town of Elon is set to hold a Community Clean Up event on Feb. 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. around the town. The event comes after a public comment made by a town resident at the last Board of Aldermen meeting. The resident was concerned about the level of litter in his neighborhood.
Members of the Board of Aldermen and Elon University’s Student Government Association are calling on students to attend. Alderman Emily Sharpe, the organizer of Saturday’s event, said the community clean up could be beneficial to the town community. Sharpe and members of SGA see this as an opportunity to bring Elon students and residents of the town together.
“We really realized that we need to bring our various communities within the town of Elon together in different ways,” said Sharpe.
Sharpe also said she saw this as an opportunity to involve Elon students and reached out to SGA and offered to do the event together.
Class of 2021 Senator Kyra Letsinger sympathized with the concerns of Elon residents after seeing the need for the two organizations to collaborate. Letsinger said she thinks there’s a disconnect between students and the surrounding community.
“I understand why they don't want to spend a ton of time with us. [Students] can come off as loud and rowdy and... sometimes a little uncaring,” Letsinger said.“The main goal is [to] clean up our community but also strengthen our relationship with people who live in the town of Elon [and] show them that we care about it just like they do.”
While Letsinger expects low attendance because of Panhellenic recruitment happening over the weekend, she hopes that this is the first step in a process of building a stronger connection between Elon students and other town residents.
“We want to end that stereotype that students just don't care. [That] this is a place we live in for a few months, we trash and we leave,” Letsinger said. “This is a great first step in bridging that and showing them that we do care this is the home for us too.”
Sharpe said she looks forward to students and residents working together to clean up the town both groups live in.
“I think when [students] become part of our community… they're going to do a better job of being a better neighbor to cleaning up in their neighborhood,” Sharpe said.” I hope that that continues to grow.”