More than 150 Harvard students will exchange their books for rakes and brooms Sunday afternoon to clean up the trash from Harvard Square.
Kirkland House residents are organizing the spring clean-up, which will begin with squads of students cleaning assigned portions of the Square and end with bluegrass music and lemonade in front of Kirkland House, Evon Vogt Jr., master of Kirkland House, said yesterday. The day will be a "social event," although its main purpose is to clean the area and improve relations with Cambridge, Stephen E. Larkin '82, Kirkland House committee president said last week.
Students from other Houses will join the organizers in response to an invitation made through House committees, Larkin said.
"People in Cambridge hate Harvard students. The clean-up will let them see that we care, that we're not thoughtless," Gwen E. Gorman '82, a Kirkland House resident said yesterday. Another Kirkland House student agreed, saying. "You can't be against this thing."
Cambridge Mayor Francis H. Duehay '55 last week called the spring cleaning a "terrific idea" that will "definitely help relations" with the city. Budget restrictions and subway construction in the Square made the effort especially appreciated, he added.
The inspiration for the clean-up came to Vogt after a visit to Austria last summer and the contrast in cleanliness he observed between the European streets and Harvard Square, he said.
The Harvard Buildings and Grounds Department will provide rakes, the Harvard Square Businessmen's Association has donated garbage bags, and the Cambridge city public works department has agreed to pick up filled bags, Vogt said, adding that Harvard officials, city hall, and the local business community have all been "very supportive."
Participants will meet in front of their House superintendent's office at 1 p.m. regardless of the weather and leave for the Square together, he said. Freshman who wish to join in the effort should go to their assigned House, he added.