By Erica Quinones
Students gathered to clean up campus as part of the annual Casey Time day of service, hosted on April 24.
Casey Time is a campus beautification event in honor of Eugene B. Casey and Betty Casey ’47.
The service day engages Washington College community members in various tasks to improve campus, past tasks included repainting fences and signs, relabeling trash and recycling containers, and preparing the space which is now George’s Free General Store.
While the event was canceled in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, for the 2021 Casey Time event, the Student Government Association partnered with Chestertown to take part in their 11th Annual Earth Day Festival.
According to SGA Secretary of Service & Community Relations sophomore Maegan White, Casey Time was initially approved early in the spring semester, but they were unsure if the event would be held due to concerns regarding the ongoing COVD-19 pandemic and its effects on student organizations.
However, the College’s safe alert level and the increased ability for student organizations to meet in-person helped the team decide to move forward with Casey Time.
“It’s been a rough year for everyone…and I think one of the universal difficulties that a lot of people, especially students, have felt is this lack of connection to their peers, because people might be too afraid to leave their dorm because of COVID[-19], or they stay in a singular pod, or they just haven’t had the opportunities to meet more people,” White said. “So, just having an opportunity where students could have fun, be outside, and interact with each other, I think that was the biggest thing that could have happened.”
When the morning of April 24 came, SGA Secretary of Student Life freshman Kamden Richardson and President of the Class of 2022 junior Mason Drummey led student volunteers in their clean-up efforts.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus, organizers decided to keep WC students and Chestertown volunteers separate by having students clean on-campus spaces, including the Rail Trail, Washington Ave., and Campus Ave., working their way to the Boathouse, according to White.
WC students were also masked and split into four pods to prevent crowding.
The four pods collected litter from their designated areas — including a shopping cart abandoned on the Rail Trail — carrying them to Fountain Park where Chestertown volunteers collected the litter for disposal.
Before the day began, many participants said they attended for the communal aspect of the event.
Freshmen Delaney Runge and Alexandra Anderson joined the clean-up effort thanks to the prompting of a mutual friend.
The brothers of Phi Delta Theta, Md. Gamma chapter attended the service day together, according to sophomore Andrew Niemann.
“The whole fraternity was doing it, so we decided to all come together and do this as a nice service project to do a nice thing for the community,” Niemann said.
Other students like freshman Megan Callis cited the opportunity to care for the environment as the reason they attended.
“It’s just a good time of the year to clean our planet, clean C-town, clean our home,” sophomore and Phi Delta Theta brother Omari Watkins said.
Although those two aspects were not separated for students like sophomore and Phi Delta Theta brother Braxton Berry.
“I think with the times and how divisive everything is — whether it be political discourse or racial injustice — it’s nice to have a thing that brings everyone together that’s just taking care of the Earth,” Berry said.
Featured Photo caption: Student volunteers pick up litter from the Rail Trail during the Casey Time day of service. Pictured from left to right, is SGA Secretary of Student Life freshman Kamden Richardson and freshmen Jordan Fairchild, Delaney Runge, and Alexandra Anderson.
Below, Kappa Sigma Brothers sophomore Dylan Snow (left) and senior Will Rotsch (right) assist in cleaning the Rail Trail. Photos by Erica Quinones.