Trash talk for those on campus

Illustration by Lauren Vellve, Nov. 6, 2013
Illustration by Lauren Vellve, Nov. 6, 2013

It’s easy to place blame on the custodians for lack of cleanliness on campus and in classrooms, but too often we neglect our own responsibilities as students, or simply even as adults.

The secret is out: our campus is filthy. While students and faculty look to the custodial staff for help, it’s important to remember the root cause of this dirty problem is the student body itself.

Custodians have limited access to classrooms with computers and other expensive equipment, so less frequent visits in these rooms is understandable. But restricted classrooms represent a small number of dirty rooms.

Restrooms are cleaned twice daily but it barely makes a difference as the flood of bodies that channel through sprinkle irresponsibility and trash common courtesy.

The lack of attention to classrooms and common areas begs to ponder how Plant Facilities directs their custodial staff and groundskeepers to handle the output of approximately 20,000 staff and students.

Budget cuts and rising enrollment, which spans the past several years — coupled together with new construction from school bonds — lead some to question how the school administration failed to foresee this crucial element of campus operations.

The windows of new administration buildings are washed, bathrooms are regularly stocked, and tumbleweeds of trash aren’t hitting your feet as you walk through hallways.

Hidden behind this pristine façade, trashcans overflow, floors have layers of dirt and grime, and tables are stickier than a Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday afternoon because of many students who completely forget, or simply neglect, to follow the rule that food and drinks are forbidden in classrooms.

Most teachers are required to pass out a syllabus or code of conduct for their classroom during the first week of classes, and the majority of these policies include no food or drinking in classes, yet rules are rarely enforced.

The floors of classrooms do need to be mopped and the paper towels need to be refilled more often than not, but students and faculty should be able to sit in a classroom for two hours at a time and not consume food or drinks.

The bathrooms do stink and supplies do run out, but students and faculty need to treat the facilities responsibly like they would when visiting friends or family.

Teachers and students are so eager to complain about the less-than-sparkly status on campus, but they should also be just as quick to enforce guidelines for their classrooms and take personal responsibility.