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HCC students clean up campus

April 25, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • Hagerstown Community College students Frederick Skroban and Anzor Akhmedov remove overgrowth Thursday from a campus garden.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch,

HAGERSTOWN -- It's not always glamorous picking up trash or weeding gardens, but for Hagerstown Community College's Science Club, the actions are important.

For Rachael Pack, it's about leading by example.

Pack, 27, joined other HCC students in a campus cleanup event Wednesday as part of the Science Club's Earth Week celebration. Pack focused on cigarette butts.

"We picked up at least a pound of cigarette butts around the ashtray," she said.

The volunteer crews working along the main roads gathered 12 bags of trash and six bags of recycling, club adviser Mylynh Nguyen said.

"I love the education it spreads throughout the community," Nguyen said of events marking Earth Week.

All week, the science club hosted a gallery display of posters by graphic design students, as well as a "Recyclemania!" collection of plastic, glass and aluminum. On Tuesday, the club showed a documentary about plastic pollution, then hosted the campus cleanup on Wednesday.

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On Thursday, which was Earth Day, club members beautified campus gardens and hosted a gathering at lunch. They participated in an "adopt-a-highway" litter cleanup on Friday.

Nguyen is an adjunct biology professor who works with the club's other adviser, chemistry professor Veronica Stein. Nguyen described the Science Club as one of the more active clubs at HCC. It has about 25 active members, although 70 people signed up to receive correspondence.

Frederick Skroban, 20, of Waynesboro, Pa., is a business major who serves as the Science Club's representative from student government.

"It doesn't matter where you come from as long as you like science and helping the campus," Skroban said.

Nguyen and members described Science Club as a student-driven organization, where every idea is considered. Many of the activities involve community service or leadership opportunities.

"We do a lot of work for the campus," Skroban said.

"I've always been a tree hugger," said Pack, of Falling Waters, W.Va.

Club members said they were glad Recyclemania! provided a visual representation of how many recyclable products are used on campus in a week. Recyclemania! was a caged area where people could toss items.

"A lot of people don't realize throwing a bag of potato chips on the ground or dropping a water bottle makes a difference," Skroban said. "We wanted students to realize how much recycling we're getting."

"In some cases, those take 200 years (to degrade, or even) a million years for glass to degrade," Nguyen said.

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