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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mortar Board cleans up UA neighborhoods

Eager students gathered at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building early Friday to help clean up neighborhoods near the UA.

The UA Mortar Board, a national student honor society, teamed up with University Medical Center and other sponsors for this event and to promote philanthropy.

Senior Ben Alter, Mortar Board member and coordinator of the event, said the purpose of Saturday’s clean up was to, “”Give back to the community, specifically surrounding neighbors by doing landscaping and general trash clean-up. We want to improve the overall appearance of the neighborhood.””

The event, which invited all UA students to participate, began in the AME courtyard at 8 a.m. A light breakfast was served and T-shirts were given to volunteers.

Student groups were assigned many different areas to clean.

Neighborhoods included North University, Feldman’s, Jefferson Park, El Cortez Heights, Rincon Heights, Northwest and Pie Allen.

This was the third year the Mortar Board and Neighborhood Associations have worked together, Alter said. He said he hopes this will help establish better relationships between the neighborhoods and the university.

“”There is an ongoing struggle to ease tensions between rowdy students and the calm residents in the neighborhoods,”” Alter said.

Diana Lett, the vice president of the Feldman’s Neighborhood Association, says, “”With a very (large) percentage of the neighborhood being student renters, we don’t have a problem with 85 percent of them.””

As for the remaining 15 percent, she added, “”It’s an unfortunate issue.””

Armed with shovels, rakes and other tools discounted by and donated from Lowe’s Home Improvement, students took to pulling weeds, cutting grass and throwing out trash.

“”The Mortar Board efforts focused on a couple of specific properties of people who can’t care for them on their own,”” Lett said.

There were three collection sites throughout Feldman’s where cleaners could drop off garbage bags, pruned tree limbs and other waste.

Several student organizations participated.

“”I heard about the project from my chapter meeting,”” said freshman Jamie Dickinson, member of Alpha Epsilon Pi.

According to Dickinson, philanthropy is a mandatory part of fraternity membership.

“”As brothers, community service is something we are supposed to do,”” he said. 

Throughout the three-hour clean up, members of the community were seen loading up wheelbarrows and putting in the effort to keep up the aesthetic of their neighborhoods.

“”UA is beautiful, and we want to keep it clean,”” Dickinson said.


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