On Saturday, April 1, members of the Tech community gathered to celebrate and participate in a campus-wide beautification and enhancement day.
The event was organized by the Student Government Association (SGA) in tandem with Greek Week — an annual competition in which Tech’s Interfraternity Council and Collegiate Panhellenic Council participate in a variety of events against one another to promote student engagement and build community.
Prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tech Beautification Day was a widespread occasion on campus, with participation numbers totaling in the thousands on average. After the event’s short absence, this is the first year in its
return to its initial scope.
As SGA’s Joint Vice President of Infrastructure and Sustainability, Grace Pietkiewicz, fourth-year LMC, played a pivotal role in the planning and execution of Tech Beautification Day. She adopted a unique leadership perspective in the revival of the event.
“It was a positive planning process with great, needed collaboration from everyone involved! We relied on planning documents from previous years but reimagined the event, since previous years were run entirely by an independent student organization. This year, our goal was to have 250 volunteers attend when past years had up to 1,000. We were looking to do a trial run. Volunteers from SGA, Greek Week and the staff in the Infrastructure and Sustainability department worked together,” Pietkiewicz said.
Upon arrival, the volunteers were assigned projects that promoted the upkeep and enhancement of campus spaces. These activities included jobs like laying pine straw and putting down mulch around the trees at Tech Green. Similarly, Max Sikora, third-year CS, planted lilacs alongside his group members.
When asked about his own thoughts on the purpose of Tech Beautification Day, he said that “it is all about giving back to the community here at Georgia Tech and making the campus full of life again.”
Sikora continued on to express his reasons for participating in the event this year.
“A friend reached out to me about the event before it was officially announced to the public, and once she explained it, I was really excited to participate. It was also a part of a Greek Week event, so I wanted to represent my fraternity at Tech Beautification Day. Outside of all of that, I really like the idea of giving back to my community, and so I thought it was a really great opportunity to do so,” Sikora said.
He noted that witnessing such an expansive turnout for a sustainable and philanthropic event like Tech Beautification Day made him feel a sense of pride for the campus community.
“I thought it was really great for the whole community to band together. With the exception of a few people, I hardly knew anybody there, so it was really cool to see a different side of the student body I had never met previously,” Sikora said.
As a closing sentiment, Sikora talked about how hosting events like Tech Beautification Day is important for the future of the Institute and community building.
“I think it gives students opportunities to care for an institution that has given us so many opportunities. I believe it also fosters a sense of community. It is not like it is a Greek-life or Public Policy majors restricted event; this is a campus-wide initiative, and anyone can partake in it,” he said.
Similarly, Pietkiewicz expressed her overall satisfaction with the event’s performance and level of student turnout.
“It was such a fulfilling event to run! I was nervous preparing in the days before it — the weather forecast was uncertain, and we did not meet our volunteer goal. However, when all the volunteers finally arrived on Saturday morning, I was in a great mood. Everyone persevered despite rainy weather and truly showed their commitment to beautifying our campus. All the hard work was worth it when I saw the results of everyone’s hard work,” Pietkiewicz said about the event.
Overall, the comeback of Tech Beautification Days appears to have been a positive launch to April’s Earth Month celebrations.
Constituents of the community have made their desires to invest in the planet evident, and this will be continued throughout the rest of the month.
For instance, students can look forward to the Earth Day Org Fair and Celebration at the Kendeda Building patio on April 18, as well as a Climate Action Workshop on April 20.
Please visit sustain.gatech.edu/earth-month-2023-event-calendar to view more upcoming Earth Month events.
Furthermore, to learn more about Tech Beautification Day and its history of improving campus, refer to cos.gatech.edu/news/tech-beautification-day-kicks-earth-month.