Students get hands dirty for a clean cause

Students, faculty and staff of Florida A&M met outside the classroom Sunday for a school wide project that will benefit the environment and the university. The participants worked on the rainwater project, located near Jackson Davis Hall.

“This is where we will collect rain water off the roof of Jackson Davis and a solar panel will pump water into a tank,” said Ryan Mitchell, senior environmental specialist at FAMU’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

This will allow the university to use its own water instead of using a conventional irrigation system, which uses the city’s water system. Not only will this save the university money, but also will aid in FAMU’s progress towards going green.

This was part of the “Do 10 for 10-10-10” campaign, where students, faculty and staff were challenged to make 10 major changes in their lifestyle by October 10, 2010. The purpose of the “Global Work Party” was to help deal with global warming in the community.

“This was a perfect opportunity to help out in any way I could,” said Brandon J. Smith, a fourth-year pharmacy student from West Palm Beach.

Students were eager and felt good about getting their hands dirty for a good cause.

“It’s a great feeling to see students and staff at the school working together,” said Jennifer Smith, a third-year health sciences student from Atlanta.

The positive atmostphere at during the project showed that students, faculty and staff at FAMU understand its importance.

“We get it and that is the first step,” Mitchell said.

“This shows FAMU is recognizing a problem and is dedicated to fixing it,” J. Smith said.

FAMU has a rich history, and the number of people who came out to help illustrates that they will continue to carry that torch.

“It shows we have school pride and we care about the world,” Jennifer Smith said.

Funding for the project stems from Home Depot’s “Retool Your School” grant given to the university. People all over campus helped with this project in many different ways.

Landscape architecture students designed the layout for the irrigation system.

Mitchell said the majority of the project was completed Saturday, and the rest will be finished sometime next week.

The rain water system is not only helping the environment, but bring the FAMU community together.

“It gives you a chance to bond with your teachers and classmates, and not have to worry about the classroom setting,” J. Smith said.

If all goes well with this venture, the school could branch out to other buildings on campus.

The “Do 10 for 10-10-10” campaign will affect FAMU as well as the world.

“This is the brink of change at FAMU,” J. Smith said.

“10-10 for 10” was an important start, but organizers of the campaign encourage people to continue to help in the fight the climate crisis.

For more information about the rainwater project you can email Ryan Mitchell at