Keep Your Damn Campus Clean

Hi guys. We need to talk. With the new school year, gorgeous weather and stress levels spiking higher than my blood pressure when I walk up the stairs of Warch, it can be hard to keep a handle on everything. Please, in the name of Amos Lawrence himself: keep the campus clean!

There has been an inexcusable number of spills of coffee, chocolate ice cream and many other substances staining the sidewalks around campus this past week. The concrete around these parts has seen its fair share of spills in the past. Sometimes, it is just one of those days. The potholes and ice get the best of everyone from time to time, but the frequency of these incidences does not seem to be freak accidents.

There are plenty of reasons why these spillages are such a big issue. The first is that culinary cash does not come cheap. Once eighth week rolls around, that cul-cash is going to be more valuable than gold. Seeing three scoops of ice cream or 24 ounces of dried coffee on my path to class gives me night terrors about the wasted cul-cash. If anyone is spending money to make these cheap spills on purpose, there will be no sympathy for them when they are bargaining with their soul for some cul-cash at the end of the term.

Second, this is not something that Facility Services should have to deal with daily. There are plenty of hard working staff members around campus that spend hours of their day trying to make our campus inviting and clean. These constant spills are just another thing on a long list of tasks they must tend to, and cleaning up unnecessary spills prevents them from working on projects or tasks that are a better use of their time. The people who work at Lawrence are so kind and they take pride in this campus, so these troubling new incidents are such an inconvenience for them.

Speaking of being empathetic towards others, students are not the only people that inhabit this campus. There are hundreds of faculty, staff and administrative members that work at Lawrence. The campus is their professional work environment, not to mention a place where they frequently bring their friends and families. Having to navigate ice cream chunks and coffee spills at every turn just to get to their classes is not the kind of thing any person looks forward to when going to work.

The campus environment is a critical part of the Lawrence image. There are prospective students getting tours of Lawrence every day. Plenty of trustees and alumni love to walk around and see the campus in which they invested a lot of time and money. Seeing current students mistreat their facilities in such a manner is discomforting and can often influence a person’s decision to give back to the school.

It may seem like a loose correlation, but if a bunch of trustees and alumni start pulling out their contributions because students think it is funny to smear trash all over the crossroads of our campus every day, Lawrence could lose important funding for scholarship and grant money. Former Lawrentians and trustees have not been giving to this school for 170 years for students to wreck their million-dollar facilities for a joke.

It all may seem incredibly trivial, especially since at the end of the day, it is just some spilled food and it is not truly harming anyone. However, the pervasive campus messiness is also childlike, and it angers an entire community that lives here. There are plenty of pet owners that would like to walk their dogs around campus without having to navigate their pet away from licking up some chocolate or other foods that could be detrimental to their pet’s health. Personally, nothing is added to my day when I see garbage rotting in front of the Wriston Art Gallery. It seems ridiculous that this type of article even needs to be written.

The bottom line is that these spills need to stop. If you do, by chance, accidently spill something on the sidewalk, take some personal responsibility and clean it up to the best of your ability. If these spills are purposeful, try taking up some activities that are worth your time and that will benefit you and the community. I hear that the Lawrentian is looking for some new writers and photographers. Maybe start there.