MSU Students Clean Up Football Tailgate Litter

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ESPN's Game Day is gone, and most of the Ohio State fans have left town by Sunday morning.

But reminders of Saturday's loss are everywhere on East Lansing streets - in the form of litter.

"It gets pretty bad out here sometimes," said MSU senior Kyle Simon. "It's kinda like a storm, so consider us the cleaning crew for the Ohio State storm that came in."

That cleaning crew consisted of volunteers from East Lansing's Community Relations Coalition. More than 100 people turned out for the event, most of them MSU Greek Life members.

"The Greek Community is always looking for ways to improve our relations with the East Lansing community, and cleaning up the mess we kind of made, seems like the best way to do it," said Sammy Scharg, a member of MSU's Panhellenic Council.

They cleaned up everything from red cups to cigarette buts to beer cans. All of that amounted to more than 70 bags of garbage throughout the Bailey and Oakhill neighborhoods, where many students and permanent residents coexist.

East Lansing Police said the clean up efforts are vital to the community, especially after a home football game.

"Based on the amount of people that come to town, we just get a lot of volume, and with that volume, becomes litter, and it's one of our priorities that we have to avoid litter in our city," Sgt. Michael Phillips said. "Without them we'd miss all the nooks and crannies of the neighborhoods."

CRC does more than just pick up trash for permanent residents. Interns partner with community members to address any issues they might have with student neighbors.

"It's all about helping them feel more comfortable in their neighborhood, and so hopefully, as the two parties come together, we can create something really good," said CRC Intern Coordinator Elinor Landess.

CRC began in 1999 in response to the MSU student riots after the NCAA basketball tournament. Volunteers said their efforts aren't going unnoticed.

"There were actually a couple of houses that were cheering us on on the way down the streets," Simon said. "So, it's nice to see someone supporting us."

This was the second and final clean up of the football season, but they hope plan more for additional home games in the future. The residents just appreciate the example they're setting.

"I'm really glad that these kids are going out and doing this, because it really is making a difference," said Doris Siegmann, who lives in East Lansing.

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