Story by Alicia Steele, Staff writer
Stewardship, Compassion, Activism, Nature, Harmony.
These just are a few of the words used by current members of MESS to describe what they are all about.
MESS, Murray Environmental Student Society, is one of two student-led organizations on campus focused on cleaning up the environment.
The group, which meets every Wednesday, organizes excursions across campus, Calloway County and the region to pick up litter.
“We strive to promote awareness and activism in environmental and conservation issues while enjoying and engaging in outdoor recreation activities, both on campus and in the surrounding area” said Meagan Tucker, MESS committee head for education and public relations.
Tucker said that MESS has an important presence both on campus and in the community because it provides service learning, networking and travel opportunities to students and community members.
“We have partnered with a number of organizations, local and non-local, to promote environmental education in the area”.
Tucker said that MESS has partnered with the Sierra Club, Murray’s community garden and Murray State’s Master of Science in Sustainability Commission.
MESS President Grecia White, senior from Ft. Rucker, said the main goals for this semester are to build up the group and get more students involved, and start the environmental conversation in Murray.
New member Bree Lyons, sophomore from Taylorsville, Kentucky, said “When people hear activism there’s a negative, so we want to spread a positive”.
Lyons said she got involved in the group after changing her major to conservation biology.
MESS works to get students involved and keep them involved in the program. They often set up tables in the Curris Center to spread their name and let students know what they are all about.
“Faculty, staff and students that wish to stay updated in our ventures receive our brand new weekly newsletter,” White said. “Which they can choose to share with their friends.”
White said MESS also has a Facebook group “MESS revival” which they frequently update with what the organization is currently involved in doing.
“We hope to see more new faces at our park cleanup and our Mammoth Cave camping trip later this month” White said.
MESS will be hosting a park cleanup at Murray’s Central Park on Sunday Sept. 13. The group will meet in front of the Curris Center at 1 pm and will be carpooling to the park.
The day will end with snacks and delivering what is cleaned up from the park to the recycling center downtown.
The Mammoth Cave trip later this month is still in the works, but anyone interested in joining is encouraged to contact the organization.
“Everyone is welcome and if you are in need of service hours, this is a great opportunity to pick up a few” White said.
The groups next meeting is at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at Carr Health Room 103.