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As the extent of the damage became evident, Wittenberg's Office of Student Development responded to student suggestions that they send an e-mail on Monday, seeking volunteers to help the overburdened university Grounds Crew begin clearing debris. The result was heartening as dozens of students, faculty and staff members gathered in two shifts that day and fanned out across campus, picking up sticks and branches and stacking them by the nearest streets for collection.
At the request of Darnell Davis, class of 2010 from Brooklyn, NY, two more crews were organized and led by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity members on Tuesday. The Office of Community Service loaned gloves, rakes and safety goggles to the cause as well.
"Wittenberg students take such pride in our beautiful campus, so I was not surprised when our students stepped-up to help our grounds crew, which did an amazing job in a short period of time," said Sarah Kelly, vice president for student life and dean of students.
Davis said he was moved to action after overhearing Grounds Crew members discussing how much damage had been done and how long it would take to get all of the debris removed.
"I felt, as a student who lives on campus, that I should at least help to clean in some way," said Davis, president of Alpha Phi Alpha. "It was my way of giving back to the school for the many opportunities it has given to me. We are a close-knit community that should have no problem pitching in and helping each other out in any way that we can."
The end result is that Wittenberg's campus is slowly getting back to normal, although it will be some time before all of the debris is cleared and damage repaired. The Grounds Crew, including Superintendent of Grounds Mark Goheen, Amy Henry, Dan Borders, Joe Mosier, Bill Hall, Steve Enlow and Dan Smith, has worked tirelessly to clear the debris ahead of one of the busiest weekends of the year – Parents and Family Weekend, which starts today.
"I am enormously proud to be at a university where our students think first about how they can help others, rather than what others owe them," said University President Mark H. Erickson.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photos By: Ben McCombs '09
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