As I go through my wake-up routine on Monday mornings, I cringe. Yes, I’m disappointed that the weekend has come to an end, that my class has come just a little too early in the morning and that I didn’t even get to the third item on my mile-long list of things to do. However, while all these things are disheartening, what I’m cringing about the most is the filth I encounter.

Walking down a hall in Gilbert, the first things I notice are the torn-down posters and decorations. I have yet to figure out how pieces of paper attached to the wall or stapled onto a bulletin board become so much in the way that it is necessary that they be knocked to the floor. Once down the hall, I enter the bathroom – I know you all just winced a little. Covered with hair, dirt, dried toothpaste, toilet paper on the floor and even food in the sink – you name it – I wonder how I’m supposed to clean myself in such an unclean place.

It’s not just Mondays in the dorms, though. Anywhere you go, you’re bound to run into people’s inconsideration for the environment around them. The library is covered with empty cups, half-eaten food and other trash that the service workers are forced to clean up in their daily rounds. Late night at Gleason Library or the IT Center is probably one of the most disgusting settings I’ve put myself in on this campus.

There is no reason that this should all be left to the service workers to clean up. They are there to take care of the dirt that comes with daily living, not everyone’s trash that is conveniently “forgotten about.” A little common courtesy goes a long way. It doesn’t take much effort to clean up what’s around you. Our school makes it easy enough with a garbage can in sight just about anywhere on campus.

There is clearly a lack of care for those who come to our area after us and have to deal with the mess left behind. I know that when on the receiving end of the deal, you’re quick to complain, but how many times have you left something on your table in the stacks because it was just easier to pretend you didn’t leave it there?

It seems that a lot of people on this campus have the attitude of “it’s not my problem; someone else will take care of it.” But, when someone else shares this attitude, it quickly becomes your problem, too, as you have to deal with the mess that is left.

We need to learn to take responsibility for our actions. We wake ourselves up everyday, we are the ones who make the decision whether or not to go to class and we’re expected to keep on top of our schoolwork without daily reminders. How do we find the responsibility within ourselves to do all of these things, but we can’t do the simple act of picking up the mess we create? It is obvious that there is a general sense of apathy toward the subject, and something should be done about it. With a little extra care, we can all make this campus just a little bit better to live on.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.



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