After a long day, the campus is filled with plastic cups, straws, plates, silverware, Dunkin bags and much more. Roaming around the Tully trying to find a seat is difficult due to the trash and mess people leave behind. Red Tully plates and cups are consistently left behind and disregarded by those who use them. It’s common decency and knowledge to clean up after yourself, but many Fairfield students lack that ability. 

This characteristic could be a product of the privilege higher education yields. Private universities like Fairfield tend to cater to a culture of privileged students who can occasionally behave disrespectfully. 

Although leaving waste behind may seem like a silly issue, it affects more than just us. Stags Hospitality workers are not paid to clean up excess waste left behind by students. They work hard every day to feed us with a smile on their faces. Our actions affect the people around us who work to provide for students. 

Junior Emily Ashenbrenner feels similarly, “The Department of Facilities Management (ABM) people work hard enough, it’s unkind that some students make ABM work harder to clean up after them when they can clean up after themselves.” 

Stag’s Hospitality commented on the matter, stating that most students do pick up after themselves, but “in any population of individuals, there is always a small number that creates a little extra work for the Tully team. The one helpful recommendation for all students is to take small portions and come back as often as you like. The Hospitality team has worked tirelessly providing most locations on campus with meal exchange to provide variety and reduce any wait times at the Tully.”

This behavior is also seen outside of our shared eating spaces. Cans line the pathways after many weekends, begging to be picked up. Most weekends I look out my townhouse window to see crushed red solo cups and cans on the lawns. It’s not a pleasant sight to look at and makes me feel like I live in filth. It gives the impression that many of my fellow students don’t care about keeping our campus clean and welcoming. Fairfield housing is a shared living space, and it tends not to be treated like such. 

During “SantaCon” this December, town residents were furious at the mess left behind on the beach.The Mirror reported on the incident, showing residents’ true feelings about the actions of students. Town residents view Fairfield University students as disrespectful and privileged, and Fairfield University should not have a reputation of entitled attendees with no manners. 

There is an easy fix to this problem. Reminders and reputation are everything. If students are constantly reminded to clean up after themselves, they will start to catch on. Adding signs on Tully tables to encourage picking up after yourself would be a huge help. Encouragement is everything, simple reminders to clean up after oneself could make a difference. Fairfield University Student Association (FUSA) could even get involved, as they are a student association that caters to the school and student body. Gentle email reminders and signs around campus about creating a clean campus would be extremely beneficial. 

The school could go even further by adding disciplinary action if students are seen leaving trash behind or littering on campus. People may think one piece of trash left on the ground isn’t a big deal, but it is! It not only destroys the environment but it also tarnishes Fairfield University’s reputation. Not to mention everyone attending Fairfield University is at an age where they know that leaving behind trash is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. 

Keeping our campus spaces clean is crucial! If this problem continues to get worse students will feel that they can trash the school whenever they please and that is not right. The Dean of Students should step in and start taking action with the student body to decrease the constant disrespect this campus receives.  

About The Author

Junior | Opinion Editor | Communication major and Digital Journalism minor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.