Keeping campus clean

By Theodore Kortenhof

Lawrence has a beautiful campus. However, the seemingly immaculate greens are stricken with a problem. Lawrence’s students rarely do their part to keep campus clean. If one takes a minute to look, it is hard not to notice the Bon Appétit dishware perched atop garbage cans, the garbage nestled in the lawns and the state of general uncleanliness of many of the school’s facilities. Students need to clean up their act and pick up after themselves.

Bon Appétit dishware seems to appear all over campus. Lawrence’s catering service is generous enough to allow students to take plates of food from Andrew Commons for consumption elsewhere. Bon Appétit provides convenient bins in all of the buildings on campus into which students can deposit dishes for collection.

If used properly, these bins ensure that Bon Appétit dishes always make their way back to the dining hall for sanitation and reuse. Despite Bon Appétit’s accommodation in this matter, students seemingly cannot be troubled to return their dishes, instead leaving them strewn across campus.

Beyond merely being a mess, Bon Appétit dishes being left about campus risks the privileges of students. If people continue to neglect their duties in returning their dishes, Bon Appétit may be loath to continue allowing students to take dishes from the commons.

On top of the runaway plates, mugs and dishes, Lawrence students also demonstrate a general apathy towards the management of their own trash. The evidence of nightly revels is frequently strewn about the entrances of buildings.

Stray cans and broken bottles are an unsightly and dangerous occurrence. Additionally, general litter, candy wrappers, cigarette butts and the ilk also permeate campus. Oddly enough, students do not seem able to take their trash to the garbage bins around campus.

Another instance of student sloppiness can be seen in the dorms. In general, students do not keep their places of residence clean. Some floors are better than others, but overall, the dorms can be disastrous. Lawrence’s on-campus housing has history and character. Polluting interesting and old buildings, such as Ormsby, Brokaw and Sage is a travesty. Although the younger buildings lack the same amount of history, leaving trash around the other campus buildings is still a shame.

Despite the presence of recycling and garbage bins, trash is far from restricted to these areas. Bathrooms are also less than desirable. Sinks and countertops are frequently left covered in water, shaving cream and the somewhat ironic remains of products aimed at personal cleanliness.

Lastly, and most disgustingly, all manners of bodily fluids can be found in the vicinity of the toilets. I realize that in the excitement of using Lawrence’s fine porcelain thrones, accidents can happen, but as college students, we should be capable of cleaning up after ourselves. No one should ever wander into a restroom only to find the evidence of a previous user’s mishaps splattered around the stall.

Overall, Lawrence is a mess. Individuals do a poor job of cleaning up after themselves, making the lives of groundskeepers and custodians unnecessarily difficult.

Custodians work hard to keep campus clean. It is not fair for students to inconvenience them with extensive messiness. This trend shows a general disrespect for the school and its caretakers on the part of students, and should be brought to an end.

New solutions to general messiness on campus are unnecessary. The solutions to stray plates are the bins provided by Bon Appétit. Various bits of litter can be placed in the garbage cans clustered about campus. Messy bathrooms can be avoided by taking more care in one’s use of the facility.

There is no excuse for the general apathy and laziness demonstrated by Lawrence students towards campus cleanliness. These traits are disgusting and can only be solved through a shift in personal behavior on the part of everyone on campus.

Those making messes should change their behavior. Those who live a clean lifestyle can help as well, picking up trash and cups where they appear. Overall, the Lawrence community simply needs to work a bit harder to keep campus looking good.

Lawrence has a beautiful campus. Students should take more pride in the place they call home. So please, take the time to pick up trash if you see it, and put your dishes and garbage in the proper receptacles.