Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Branson’s student-run newspaper
Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Opinion: Clean up After yourself

Students+leave+trails+of+rice+behind+in+the+commons+after+lunch.+This+messiness+has+become+a+new+normal+for+Branson+students+this+year.
Ashley Vela Perez
Students leave trails of rice behind in the commons after lunch. This messiness has become a new normal for Branson students this year.

Most students and faculty can picture this very clearly. It’s 12:30, lunch has just ended, and most kids are headed to class. For the few who have a free block, they head into the commons, hoping to get some work done and chill with friends. However, they are met with a rude awakening as the tables in the commons are covered with excess food from lunch. Cups are all over the place. Plates aren’t cleared. And the tables are rendered unusable.

“Well I guess we’ll go to the library” is a common response.

This has become the new normal. It has been completely normalized. So normalized that nobody bats an eye at the cleanliness of the commons, except for the few people who take time out of their free blocks to help clean the mess.

The fact of the matter is that we have to be better. This has been a problem since the day I arrived at Branson. There is a complete sense of entitlement, and a lack of responsibility.

This issue stems beyond the commons. Just take one peek into the boys’ locker room. There is a massive hole in the wall, clothes are everywhere, and it’s obvious to anyone who has been in there that the space is not treated with respect.

For a school that prides itself on “beloved community,” we certainly don’t show it. We treat our community with such little respect that one has to wonder if being a beloved community has any meaning anymore. Would members of a beloved community leave their plates behind them, just because nobody will yell at them? Would they kick a hole into a wall that will be incredibly expensive and time consuming to replace? We, as a student body, really need to take a look in the mirror at ourselves and question if we are upholding the values we strive to.

To those who think that leaving their plates out is a victimless crime. To those who believe that when there is nobody there to call them out they shouldn’t bother cleaning up. Think of the grounds crew, who is forced to clean up after you. It’s not their job to pick up plates, wipe down tables, fix a hole in the wall, and clean up after us. That’s not the job they signed up for. And its not the job we should make them do.

We have tried implementing so many solutions, even giving rewards for cleaning up after ourselves (kind of a crazy thought that we had to resort to that), but even that didn’t work, and the cleanliness of the commons fell back to its usual low level.

I’m just asking all of you: please clean up after yourself. Please treat our space with respect. Please uphold the values that our school so proudly proclaims. Hold each other accountable, don’t be afraid to call your friends out. Please.

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