Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Wiping away trash, pride


By Tiffany Chubb

Staff Writer


I walk to S Building to use the microwave because the one in X Building stopped working. As I approach the second automatic glass door, I put on my jacket to prepare for the change from outside heat to the inside’s cool air conditioning.

I make my way to the double staircase, walk upstairs and turn to face the commons area. As I walk toward the microwave and try to scope out a seat nearby, I see trash on the tables, chairs and floor – and in the microwave.

Putting my stuff down in a chair and doing my best to avoid the dirty table, I try not to gag as I attempt to find a clean spot in the microwave to heat up my lunch. I think to myself, “How can students leave an area that is so beautiful and meant for shared use so dirty?”

Fellow student Rodney Wilson felt the same way, saying that it’s disgusting and unfair. He said he also sees all sorts of people leave trash from their lunches on the table, as if we don’t all share this common area. He said: “It makes me less attracted to spending time I could be studying or being on campus because my peers don’t care about its upkeep. We have one of the most beautiful campuses, and there’s no reason for it not to look nice.”

I totally agree.

I’m sure if I visited the homes of the students who leave trash, their parents would not accept their behavior. I’m sure some may argue that their parents clean it up for them, but if there is no home training, there should be school training. In the words of comedian Kevin Hart, “They goin’ learn today.”

When discussing ideas to improve this behavior, Wilson said, “There should be a more dedicated schedule to cleaning the common area, because it is such a high-traffic area. He said the area may need to be cleaned more frequently.

Student TJ Pierce didn’t even know Brookhaven had microwaves until I pointed them out to him. He said he felt that it’s a shame students leave messes the way they do. “We are all grown people,” he said. “The philosophy me and my friends have is, when you see someone doing something ignorant, slap them three times.” As entertaining as the thought may be, I don’t condone violence, so I would not suggest this as a solution.

The solution is simple. When you’re done eating your Subway sandwich, or pizza, or chips, or candy bar, juice, soda pop, homemade lunch, breakfast or whatever you eat, throw it away!

Throw all of it away. If you spill something on the tables or the floor, get some napkins and clean it up. If you don’t have napkins, go to Subway’s register and ask for some, or make a quick stop by the bathroom to get some paper towels and wipe up your spill. If you use the microwave and your food spills, get some napkins or paper towels and wipe it up. Do not, I repeat, do not leave napkins or pieces of the napkin in the microwave. If your chip bag or candy wrapper falls on the floor, go ahead and pick it up and throw it away when you get ready to leave.

I know this may be a new concept for some of you, but I assure you that your compliance will be much appreciated. There is nothing more inviting than a clean space.

I come from a place where people littered regularly. To this day, I do not litter or allow other people around me to litter. Beautiful surroundings create a harmonious space that is perfect for studying and learning. Cluttered, dirty spaces block that flow and, let’s be honest, it’s an eyesore.

This school belongs to all of us. We can make it as dirty and as nasty as we want, or we can make it as beautiful and inviting as we want. Before you leave the public space you are occupying, think: if the president of the United States (or someone you want to make a good impression on) came behind you to use what you used, would you be proud of how you left the space you occupied? Remember, integrity comes from the things you do when nobody is looking.

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