Dozens of Central Michigan University students volunteered Friday morning to promote Chippewa pride by planting flowers around campus buildings.
“The grounds staff donated the flowers, and the staff and residents of each hall are planting them,” Canton junior Morgan Bartos said. “We’re trying to beautify the grounds for homecoming.”
Although similar projects have been implemented in previous years, volunteers this year were tasked with planting more flowers than ever before.
An extra 1,000 maroon and gold mums were ordered and placed around residence halls and university buildings, in addition to the university’s yearly order of 500 plants for the entire campus.
While Bartos was busy planting at Barnes Hall, Saginaw Township senior Timmy Robinson was working outside of Robinson Hall.
“Any time we can help the community, we jump on the chance,” Robinson said.
For him, the flowers were not only a chance to improve campus, but to contribute to the environment.
“We know everything about these plants is biodegradable, so it gives us a peace of mind that we can plant these and know everything is recyclable,” he said.
Also volunteering outside Robinson Hall was Hartland senior Kelly Schiess.
“We’re planting them just to spruce things up and make campus look nice,” Schiess said. “It adds to school spirit.”
Students who work for the Towers building maintenance crew assisted volunteers in planting the mums along the walls of the Towers residence halls.
“I care about my university, and I definitely want to make sure freshman and alumni can see the school spirit and how the university is growing,” said Sean VanEvery, a Mount Pleasant junior and Towers BMW crew member.
For Belleville senior Nicole Infante, the experience was a way to connect with friends through community service.
“I heard about the opportunity through friends. We had all volunteered at leadership camp together over the summer, and it’s nice to do this with them and get them involved,” she said.
According to Joan Schmidt, director of Residence Life, the idea for the project came from former CMU Deputy Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe.
Van der Merwe is currently the athletics director at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, where the university plants flowers around campus to bloom every spring.
“We aren’t able to plan for spring flowers because most of our students are gone for the summer by the time the weather is nice enough for them to bloom. What we can do is plant them for fall activities to really make campus look great,” Schmidt said.