May 19, 2024

It’s hard not to notice the amount of garbage covering Witt’s campus right now. From the second I leave my house and all the way to Hollenbeck, Natty Lite cans, Miller Light pitchers (stolen from Station, apparently), wrappers from joint-rolling papers, soda bottles, chairs and many more items decorate the sidewalks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of fun since school has started, but I throw my remnants in the trash can like a decent human being. If you’re too intoxicated to make your shot in beer pong, you definitely can’t “Kobe” your Natty can from the porch to the trash, so please just walk inside and gently place your garbage in it.

Witt students love to have fun. I get it. We go hard on St. Patty’s and during WittFest, but bear in mind that neither of those big events have happened yet, and our campus already looks disgusting. Imagine how bad our campus will look if we keep this up into the spring semester.

Last year the Green Club, Marine Science Club and Sigma Kappa picked up litter following the two largest festivities on campus, but it isn’t their responsibility to clean up after the entire campus each weekend. In fact, it isn’t their responsibility to ever clean up after anybody else, it’s an act of charity and giving back on their behalf.

Physical plant can’t pick up after us either. They’re busy mowing the lawn in the hollow so that we have an outdoor space to enjoy and fixing problems in the old, historical buildings that give our campus its unique character.

It’s time for us, as a student body, to decide how we will solve this problem. Do we need to organize more voluntary events to pick up litter on campus? Do our organizations need to be more involved with protecting our campus’s ecosystem? Does the sustainability task force need to create more regulations? Does Witt Police need to impose greater fines? Or do we need to take some personal responsibility for ourselves? I concur with the last remedy.

We are not only destroying the beauty of this campus, but the greater environment as well. This trash flows down storm drains every time it rains, into Buck Creek, and eventually reaches local nature preserves.

It’s also a busy time of year for admissions. Tour guides lead prospective students in single file lines like little ants down alumni way three or four times per day. Is this the campus we want them to see? Sure, maybe some of the high-school students find it funny, but the parents certainly don’t, and they’re usually the ones paying. We are showing visitors to this campus that we’re selfish hedonists who can’t take a few seconds to preserve something greater than ourselves.

When I first visited Witt, I was blown away by the beauty of this campus. The roofs of Myers and Recitation Hall were covered in thick snow, but the seal was shoveled to reveal our motto, “Having Light We Pass it On to Others.” Although a t-shirt company has turned that slogan into “Having Natty Light We Pass it On to Others” as a joke, maybe we need to step back for a second a think about how that perspective is changing our campus for the worse because we won’t clean up after ourselves.

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