For Santa Clara students, the first few weeks of June often bring the tragic collision of warm weather and finals. Mix in move out, and June becomes an all-out sprint to finish classes, catch up with friends, take advantage of sunny days and pack up your life. But in the rush of it all, students this year made a point to slow down and give back, and set a record for donations in the process.
The timeline for preparing to move out began as early as May for some on-campus residents, but the university formally rolled out donation bins, dumpsters and other materials on the June 7. Students, with the help of student escorts, could drop off donated items at bins in residence hall lobbies. They could also dispose of electronic waste and recycle carpets in designated areas near most residence hall entrances. In the final weeks of spring quarter, students could also donate non-perishable food items and linens at various locations throughout campus. Programs like Food 4 Fines, which allowed students to wipe away library fines in exchange for donated goods, and the ability for students to donate excess meal points were credited as "win-win" solutions for the University.
The results were dramatic.
Students left over one ton of carpets, more than half of which will be cleaned and stored for use next year. The rest were recycled through Goodwill. Nearly 8.4 tons of donated items, from couches to clothing, filled three Goodwill trailers, doubling the total from last year's donations. Students also filled 19 barrels full of non-perishable food items that will go to Second Harvest Food Bank, the largest collection made to-date according to Matt Smith of Santa Clara Campus Ministry, and donated two and a half bins worth of linens that will go to a local women's shelter.
To learn more about donating during move out, check out the move out web page. Students can also speak with their Community Facilitator about helping during move-out week next year.
By Chris Woodhouse, '10, Sustainability Intern, with contributions from Cara Uy, '11, Sustainability Intern, and Kaelin Holland, '11, Recycling Intern.