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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Club cleans up Tucson


Courtesy of University of Arizona Mortar Board Honor Society
The UA Mortar Board is a chapter of the Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society. This weekend, the society will hold its eighth annual cleaning crew event, in which members clean up Tucson neighborhoods.

Hundreds of UA students and staff members from the Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society will be conducting hands-on activities this weekend to make several Tucson neighborhoods cleaner and more appealing.

The Mortar Board Honor Society is hosting its eighth annual cleaning crew event on Saturday from 7-11 a.m. People will meet at the Highland Avenue Parking Garage, and transportation is provided by Mortar Board members or volunteers going in groups. The volunteers will be cleaning on neighborhoods from Grant Road to Broadway Boulevard and Euclid Avenue to Campbell Avenue.

Mortar Board is a national honor society for seniors that exhibit involvement and dedication in everything they do. The students also need to have a GPA of 3.3 or higher and need to have excelled for most of their years at the university.

Mortar Board was founded in 1918 and has chapters at four different universities. 

Mackenzie Steinbach, a biomedical engineering senior, is the UA Mortar Board chapter president. She coordinates with the other societies across the U.S. and keeps the UA society focused on the three pillars of the society: scholarship, leadership and service. She also assists the directors of the clean-up crew with getting resources and connections for the event.

There have been about 500 volunteers for each annual clean-up. 

Ashwini Kaveti, a physiology senior and public health minor, is a co-director for the Mortar Board clean-up crew.

“Philanthropy and community service can be more than just fundraising money for a certain project,” Kaveti said. “This is physical work and people will feel that they have accomplished something good for their communities.”

Preparation for the event starts with securing sponsorships and then getting volunteers and promoting the event. The directors also had to meet with the neighborhoods and do walkthroughs of the sites that need to be cleaned up. Toward the end, they just purchase the food and assign volunteers to groups.

Brittany Forte, a senior studying biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology, is also co-director of Mortar Board clean-up crew.

“Mortar Board is at a bunch of universities across the country, but the clean-up crew is really specific to our university, and that is what makes us unique,” Forte said.

The crew members expect there to be a lot of graffiti, weed and trash removal, and one of the biggest tasks is to help the elderly and disabled people clean up their own yards because they can’t do it themselves.

“It’s a lot of work, a lot of money and a lot of volunteers to be able to commit to these big projects,” Forte said. “Some neighborhoods are requesting more than 50 people, and with more than one neighborhood, it is hard to do more than one event per year.”

Anyone in the community can volunteer, and there is an individual and group application. If clubs want to volunteer, they should complete the group application, but Mortar Board applicants should complete the individual application.


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