“Clean up! Clean up! Everybody, clean up!” security guard Charles Davenport bellows over a loudspeaker during the lunch cycles, hoping to prompt students to clear the remnants of their meals. Unfortunately, several students have already left the cafeteria to rush to their next class, leaving behind quite the undesirable situation: leftovers and garbage accumulating each...
“Clean up! Clean up! Everybody, clean up!” security guard Charles Davenport bellows over a loudspeaker during the lunch cycles, hoping to prompt students to clear the remnants of their meals. Unfortunately, several students have already left the cafeteria to rush to their next class, leaving behind quite the undesirable situation: leftovers and garbage accumulating each lunch period.
Every which way in the cafeteria, you can find the staples lying on the floor: worn masks, crushed grapes and used wrappers. The once inviting space now teems with staff members who watch students like hawks, expecting to finally catch the culprits in action. Due to inconsiderate students using the floor as an alternative to the numerous trash bins, locations in which we can eat have become jam-packed, unsanitary and overly chaotic.
As the year has progressed, available lunch locations like the atrium, small gym and room 142 have slowly decreased, resulting in hundreds of sweaty bodies crammed into the cafeteria. If about 500 unmasked teenagers sitting atop piles of squashed leftovers sounds alarming, it’s because it is! The cafeteria and room 142 being the only indoor locations we’re allowed to eat in is a recipe for disaster.
Every day, the Olympic race to the lunch tables determines who will obtain an optimal space to eat, since empty spots are limited by the time most students enter the cafeteria. Several questions occupy the students’ minds as they walk to their locations: Does this table have enough room for all participants? Are we socially distanced enough? How do I find a table to avoid the airborne plastic water bottles that some students throw at each other?
To avoid the chaos that ensues within the cafeteria everyday, many students decide to sit outside. But, a question still lingers: what will happen when the weather gets colder, making outdoor spaces unbearable for most people?
The options are two-fold: sit right outside of the cafeteria beneath the overhang (a space too small to maintain remotely any social distancing regulations) or inside of the cafeteria among the masses. Inside, there exists both those minding their business and those who unfortunately seem to be having a little too much fun at our expense. Though both the options sound unappealing, we have no other choice!
Most of us abide by the inferred rules: throw away your trash, put chairs back where you found them and avoid leaving parts of your sandwich on the floor. For the rest of us, correctly disposing of our garbage may potentially open more lunch locations (by building trust with the administration) and consequently create a more sanitary lunch experience.
I understand — catapulting plastic bottles or leaving your trash for the next lunch cycle may offer temporary amusement. But, do we really want to eat in the overcrowded cafeteria as we slowly approach the colder months? Do we really want to wait until empty tables are available, awkwardly overseeing students as they frantically finish their last bites?
If not, the solution is simple: just clean up after yourselves.
The Spoke Editorial Board voted unanimously 20-0 in favor of this article.
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