Merrill students trade their unnecessary belongings in anticipation of the end of the school year. Photo by Andrew Allio.
Merrill students trade their unnecessary belongings in anticipation of the end of the school year. Photo by Andrew Allio.

For most UC Santa Cruz students, the end of the school year means final exams, sunny weather, and moving out — but for Merrill students, it has presented an opportunity to collect new and interesting items.

“It means free stuff,” second-year Merrill student Christy Rusk said, as she evaluated the items that were displayed on a large tarp at the center of the Merrill moat. Rusk and dozens of other Merrill students crowded the moat to donate old items, make trades, and recycle things they no longer wanted.

Merrill College’s Switch, Bitch, and Ditch Day is an annual event that provides an opportunity for students to bring items for others to take, look for interesting things for themselves, or simply recycle objects that have cluttered their rooms all year.

Students gathered in the Merrill moat this past Sunday to switch items of interest with one another, ditch their studying responsibilities and unwanted belongings, and bitch about finals.

“We normally have Switch, Bitch, and Ditch Day at the same time as our annual moat day event, but this year we thought that Switch, Bitch, and Ditch should happen closer to the end of the quarter,” said Muriel Gordon, a resident advisor (RA) at Merrill College.

Gordon and her fellow Merrill RAs grilled veggie burgers and distributed information on proper recycling methods to make the event educational and eco-friendly. Students loitered amid the barbeque grills and flyers that advocated proper waste sorting as they brought forth items to trade and ditch, swapping clothes and exchanging text books and toys in the warm springtime atmosphere.

Switch, Bitch, and Ditch Day provides an effective and fun way for students to get a head start on their year-end clean up. While many students could just toss their unwanted belongings in the trash or donate them to charitable organizations, this event offers a chance for students to give old items to those who want to use them.

“Switch, Bitch, and Ditch is great for redistributing things and cutting down on waste,” said Alex Judd, Merrill College first-year.

Students are able to take little reminders of their school and their fellow college acquaintances home, in addition to finding some pretty cool stuff for their material satisfaction. Sharing in an event that is reminiscent of a swap meet allows students to bond and create memories.

“There’s some interesting stuff up for grabs this year,” Merrill student Chelsea Cramer said, brandishing a striped top. “I just got a couple of awesome shirts.”