Story by Mackenzie Murphy, Opinion Editor
Image courtesy of Fox 8
AQ EPIC—a club that aims to address environmental issues through clean-ups, giveaways, and awareness— is kicking it into gear for the spring 2016 semester.
“We help create and protect local habitats for wildlife,” said Tom Christy, the president of AQ EPIC. “We also create social opportunities for students to discuss and bring ideas about ways we can help the environment on an individual level.”
This semester, EPIC (Environmental Protectors Interacting for Change) hopes to encourage students to take a hands-on approach to protecting and advocating for the environment.
“It is our dedicated e-board that really takes strong initiative and enthusiasm for the projects we do around campus,” said Christy. In the past, EPIC has sponsored giveaways of environmentally-friendly products made by companies like Lush, a cosmetic company that specializes in natural hair and beauty products. Last March, the club sponsored a formal event called Keeping Trees, which took place in Holmdene and featured performances from AQ Idol winners.
It isn’t just all about glitz and giveaways for EPIC, however. EPIC has coordinated campus clean-up days, where students volunteered to pick up trash that accumulated in the creek and in the woods. EPIC has also coordinated beach clean-up days, where volunteers travel to clean up Michigan’s shore lines.
Some of the impact EPIC has on the Aquinas community can be seen around campus. Last fall, EPIC installed three bat boxes in the forested areas surrounding campus.
“Bats are migratory animals and will be returning to Michigan real soon,” said Christy.
The boxes will play host specifically to brown bats, the most popular of nine bat species found in Michigan. According to the DNR, places like Aquinas, which are surrounded by forests and water, are prime real-estate for bats, as they attract large populations of insects.
“EPIC is important to the Aquinas community for the work that we have accomplished,” said Christy, “whether that be the bat boxes [which are] the brown boxes in the trees around campus, our campus clean-up days, our more exciting beach clean-up days, and our upcoming Adopt a AQ Trail campaign.” In the Adopt an AQ Trail campaign, EPIC “will be solely responsible for the appearance and environmental health of an area of campus,” according to Christy.
To get involved with the efforts of AQ EPIC and to volunteer for a clean-up day, contact Christy or AQ EPIC Vise President Madeline MacLean.
About the Writer…
Mackenzie Murphy is a sophomore at Aquinas where she is the Opinion Editor for The Saint. She is also a freelance writer and high school debate coach. In her spare time, Mackenzie enjoys reading and geeking out over David Foster Wallace. Follow her on Twitter at @MurphyKenzio