Dorm dwellers get gorgeous with beach cleanup
September 19, 2008 8:38 PM
Community service at SF State got an eyeful this past Saturday when the first expedition of Beach Babes, a new bathing suit-clad beach cleanup group, trekked to Ocean Beach.
“I decided to call it ‘Beach Babes’ not because we would sun bathing in a bikini on the beach or anything,” said Sam Desurra, a Resident Assistant at Mary Park Hall. Helping the environment is important and by making the environment look good, you’re making yourself look good.”
Desurra got the idea as a freshman, when her friends volunteered to clean up Bay Area beaches after last November’s Cosco Busan oil spill.
“It wasn’t until this year that I figured I should use it as a program for the community,” said Desurra.
RAs at SF State are required to devise two programs per month for their student residents, and are encouraged to take residents out into the city for many of their activities.
“Lots of students are very interested in environmental issues right now,” said Kevin Kinney, the Assistant Director for Residential Life on campus.
Kinney points to other previously successful beach cleanup groups, work at environmental gardens and street fairs, and ECO Students, a growing student organization dedicated to environmental issues on and off campus as among the most popular student programs.
Echoing Kinney, Desurra is tapping into what gets student residents ticking.
“Even though it’s my job to plan programs for residents, it holds much more meaning, especially if students are getting something out of it,” said Desurra.
While the name of the event is eye-catching, not everyone on campus will be jumping into their swimsuits.
“I support the work they're doing, but I question their methods,” said Allison Mingus, president and co-founder of Feminists In Action, an on-campus organization. “I would blame larger society for making us feel like we have to do things that way.”
Although open to men and women, Desurra aimed to put a creative spin on her program.
“If I were looking at my program, I could definitely see how people would think it would be a bunch of women in bikinis going to clean the beach,” said Desurra. “I just thought the title was clever. I spoke to an environmental awareness club on campus, and many of the people in the club seemed to be interested, both men and women, so I’m hoping for a good outcome.”
Getting the word out through fliers, posters, public announcements and Facebook, Desurra is hoping to spark widespread interest.
“I’ve only been receiving positive feedback, but I’m open to opinions and suggestions,” she said. “If this program doesn’t go over well, and say I get only two people, it’ll be a learning experience.”
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