A Rocha is a student-run campus organization that spreads awareness of sustainable practices and engages with the student body to promote local conservation efforts. Community Life Council (CLC) is another student organization which hosts events and activities for freshman and sophomore students at both Smith-Traber and Fischer.
Residents at Smith-Traber enjoyed listening to A Rocha club members and the CLC about recycling, and four residence floors even won free Chick-fil-A sandwiches for having 80 percent of floor members participate. A Rocha offered this opportunity to all of Smith-Traber as an incentive for student participation.
When asked where A Rocha found the budget to purchase so many sandwiches and drinks, president of A Rocha junior Yuxi Zhao declined to discuss her club’s funds publicly. She acknowledged that it is helpful for the club to have a “flexible budget” so that it can pursue structural changes at Wheaton while managing its community garden.
Zhao told The Record that Smith-Traber and Fischer were contacted because they are the biggest dorms where most students will live at some point. A Rocha was disappointed when the Fischer CLC members did not respond to the request for a joint partnership, despite being “the dorm with the most recycling contamination” according to Zhao. One Fischer CLC, sophomore David Aiello, suggested there was miscommunication and said “I’m not familiar with” any attempts by A Rocha to contact Fischer CLCs.
The Smith-Traber CLC members and A Rocha offered recycling training from March 21 through April 1 at various times throughout the week. Freshman Meredith Schellhase is one of the A Rocha Recycling Committee members who developed and then taught the training procedure to the CLC members so they could in turn explain recycling methods to the dorm’s residents. A popular part of the training featured information about how to discern what is recyclable and what is not. Students were surprised to learn that although the lid of a Stupe cup is recyclable, the cup itself is trash due to its waxy outer coating.
Schellhase said this year’s partnership between A Rocha and residents was more effective than last year’s effort, which was limited to videos.