Student Affairs Commission discusses cleaning up Campustown

Kayla Schantz

Beautifying Campustown and organizing a taskforce to maintain its cleanliness was one of the main topics discussed by the Student Affairs Commission at their meeting Thursday night.

“Something has to be done,” said Tim Gleason, Campustown business representative of the Student Affairs Commission.

Gleason suggested creating a taskforce that would potentially include the Government of the Student Body, the Campustown Student Association and ISU faculty. He said by getting the university involved, he hoped that Campustown could tie in with the “Keep Iowa State Beautiful” campaign.

Complaints from Campustown business owners and students have included the trash, gum and cigarette butts that litter the sidewalks in the area.

“The main objective would be the trash,” said Matt England, senior in aerospace engineering and the ex-officio student representative on the Ames City Council.

Some ideas for how to clean up Campustown were possibly painting the trash cans along the streets, adding ash trays and installing solar trash compactors like the ones on the ISU campus.

Gleason said that unless something is done to keep Campustown clean, the new buildings that will be constructed in the Campustown redevelopment project in the next year will have the same dirtiness.

However, Steve Schainker, Ames city manager, pointed out that when Campustown redevelopment does begin, the area will be additionally messy because of construction.

Another issue the Student Affairs Commission discussed was the plan to design DZ Triangle, a small area of land south of campus, known as a location where students gather and burn couches. These activities have been a concern of student and city organizations for several years.

England said that currently the DZ Triangle project is “still in the holding area” while they wait for architecture students to create the plans. He added that ideas were brainstormed during break, and now that the students are back in school, they can begin to form groups and take action on the plans.

In terms of funding for the project, England said they plan to approach GSB for money, as well as apply for a $5,000 Neighborhood Improvement Grant. As it is a matching grant, the students would have to come up with the other $5,000 in either cash or in labor.

Another update England reported at the meeting was that the new city of Ames website is on schedule to be revealed to the public by the end of February.

Schainker also informed the group that the city is looking to hire a company to do a city-wide brand envisioning that will include focus groups and a survey in order to find a “common vision” in the community.

“There will be a lot of different ways to get input,” Schainker said.

Other topics discussed but with no concrete updates included the Des Moines/Ames corridor and Campustown safety.

The Student Affairs Commission will meet again in February.