During an Earth Day program in 2008, GPC instructor Ernie Guyton spoke to students about his effort to start a college environmental club. One student did more than listen.
Tuce Girit, a Communications major attending classes at GPC’s Clarkston Campus, began planning.
“I was inspired,” said Girit, an international student from Istanbul, Turkey. “Tuce got inspired about what we need to do on campus—and around the globe,” says Guyton, who teaches Anthropology and Sociology.
Girit, joined by fellow student Amy Gibbons, worked with Guyton to establish the Earth Club. They didn’t stop there.
Using unallocated money available from the Student Government Association and organizing a network of volunteers, Girit helped established an extensive recycling effort on Clarkston Campus.
The students, guided by Guyton and associate professor Priscilla Dodds, equipped the campus with a strategic assortment of Rubbermaid containers: 23 four-unit receptacles, 10 parking lot bins, five rolling units, 10 containers for computer labs and 100 office-sized cans for faculty. They divided the campus into five zones and assigned volunteers to “zone leagues” that would monitor, pick up and empty the bins on a regular schedule.
Once the bins were in place and the recycling began, however, Girit identified another need.
“I would see people standing at the bin, trying to figure out which receptacle their stuff was supposed to go to,” says Girit. So she and fellow students put together and presented campus seminars to inform students and personnel of the need to recycle and how to use the new bins.
For its efforts and accomplishments, the Earth Club was named Best Club of the Year, Girit was named Best Executive Officer of the Year, and Guyton was named Best Advisor of the Year in 2008