It’s 6 a.m. and a thick serving of snow has covered the UR campus, rendering a variety of surfaces around campus a soft, pure white. Yet, as happens often on our campus, that layer of snow is subsequently and efficiently swept away. Rarely is a thought ever spared for those members of the UR staff who faithfully and frequently push away this potential hazard, salt the walkways and roads on campus, and finally melt away until the next snow hits. There are many such members of our campus community, but we must be careful not to forget their contributions, or take them for granted.

One exceedingly common sight in a dorm building is bathrooms littered with a variety of refuse, whether paper towels strewn around on the floor, in the sink and atop other surfaces; toilet paper littering the inside of the stalls; or even empty shampoo containers left to collect dust once their purpose has been fufilled.  Yet, the students of the campus community seem to ignore the fact that this trash have to be cleaned up by someone, if not fellow students then the workers who come to the bathrooms as a part of their work routine. Toilets, showers, and sinks all offer examples of how students may ignore those that have to deal with their actions (and trash).

Food service offers another example of how students can work to be more respectful to those members of the campus community who don’t attend its classes. When ordering a Meliora Burger or  grabbing a  Pesto Chicken Sandwitch, students should be as respectful as they can to these fellow members of our community. Please and thank yous, or even a glance up from one’s cell phone are steps in the right direction for on-campus respect. It is imperative that we work to make all who come to our campus, day in and day out, feel like part of the community. All too often, when we are caught up in our own work and lives, we find it  easy to ignore the often unaknowledged workers that make our campus ever better.

But the disrespect we may sometimes show, unintentionally or otherwise,  is  not confined to these few examples. The Stacks can be found littered with trash, food, and even books that students have failed to return to their proper place on the shelves, or even to a library cart. Even the lounges can be a casualty of disrespect when students end their late-night escapades and decide to leave the lounges in a worse condition than they found them. Kitchens, too, can offer the same display of casual indifference to the workers that maintain our fine campus. So next time, when ordering at Danforth, cooking in the kitchen, or just  hanging out in the lounge; think for a moment about whether you’re actions contribute to respect on campus, or detract from it.

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