Cleaning up after yourself is not an option

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Despite Luther’s commitment to sustainability and emphasis on community, I can’t help but notice that its students are incredibly bad at cleaning up after themselves. Like, astoundingly bad. Every time I walk into a bathroom on campus, I find paper towels littering the floor. Whenever I eat in the caf, I find crumbs and used napkins on the tables and chairs. When I take out my recycling, I always discover plastic, cardboard, and half-eaten food in the incorrect bins.

The “Damn b**ch, you live like this?” meme always pops into my head when I see such acts of grossness, but I still try to pick up these messes for the sake of Luther’s custodians, groundspeople, caf workers, and other staff members who make this school function. They do not create these messes, and despite what some students seem to think, they do no not live to wait on us hand and foot. It’s unacceptable to dump your garbage wherever you want and absolve yourself of any responsibility for it just because someone else has no other choice but to clean up after you. It makes their jobs more difficult than they need to be and prevents them from attending to their daily tasks.

I don’t believe students are leaving these messes behind with any malicious intent. However, when it comes to outright damaging school property, I do wonder what the motivation is there beyond a desire to play an idiotic prank or to engage in some booze-fueled hedonnism. During my time here, I’ve seen windows shattered, handles ripped off doors, broken toilet seats, and room signs snatched off walls. A couple weeks ago, someone managed to damage a door in my campus apartment building so badly that it no longer locked properly until a repairman was kind enough to fix it. I can’t rationalize why some Luther students are willing to inflict this kind of damage on our shared living spaces, and it angers me that many never face any punishment for their actions beyond receiving a fine.

Since every member of this student body is an adult, we have no excuse to behave like this. We learn to clean up after ourselves and to respect our surroundings in preschool and kindergarten, so it’s rather pathetic that some of us never advanced beyond that early childhood mindset in nearly two decades. For those of you that have, you’re doing amazing, sweeties. Please continue to take the time to throw away your trash, recycle properly, keep our dorms intact, and encourage your friends and acquaintances to do the same. Everyone at Luther has a responsibility to keep this campus clean for the sake of every human and animal that calls this place home, so please don’t try to pass this work off on others.

Opinions expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Chips or organizations with which the author(s) are associated

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