Wesleyan community spruce up the PUMC building

There were several types of flowers used when building the PUMC garden.

When campus resumes on Monday, Texas Wesleyan faculty, staff and students will be greeted with a colorful display of newly planted flowers. Members of the School of Arts and Sciences and volunteer students worked together to tidy up the flower beds in front of the Polytechnic United Methodist Church (PUMC) building.

Before the transformation, the brick planter boxes were filled with cigarette butts, rocks, trash and weeds in the dirt, according to Associate Professor of History Dr. Christopher Ohan. “The university doesn’t give much attention to the church. It doesn’t even make it into the tours when potential students come to campus,” he said.

Ohan thought a splash of color would help cheer up the building and create faculty and staff comradery. “This was something that can build some community among the faculty at a time when faculty morale is at an all time low,” he stated.

“This is an easy thing to do. And who can’t garden? Except for him,” Ohan said jokingly as he pointed to student volunteer Alfonso Salais, a second year history major and supplemental instructor for the history department.

Volunteers Dr. Alison Simons, associate professor of sociology, Tamika Johnson, coordinator to the dean, and second year history major Alfonso Salais prepped the dirt before planting the new flowers.

Gardening is not something that Salais does often, but he was happy to be involved in revitalizing campus. “Dr. Ohan keeps everything entertaining,” he said while pouring dirt in the bricked planting box.

Also jumping in to help was third year psychology and political science major Jaylon Leonard, who found out about the planting from Salais. “I’m excited to learn about how [gardening] works,” Leonard said. He had never gardened before and was excited to be a part of the project, even though he was there for a short time.

Tamika Johnson, coordinator for the School of Arts and Sciences dean, helped Ohan coordinate faculty and staff volunteers. “This is something we thought we decided on at the last minute and those who wanted to participate actually came out. We have a few more faculty [who are] going to join us later today,” she said.

Several faculty and staff, like Johnson, came to campus on their day off to help build the garden.