Students should take more pride in campus appearance

By Dakota Knotts, Contributing Writer
Are you a proud member of the Hilltopper community? Do you take pride in your school and its appearance? If you answered “no,” then you are most likely part of the problem. West Liberty University has approximately 2,320 or more students attending, and all of them should be held accountable for the negligence of the campus and its well-being. 

All too often, I walk around campus and see what has been left lying around by students. I find it odd that they can just leave garbage lying around when there seems to be a garbage can around every corner. The quad alone has at least eight of them, all for the convenience of students. This problem seems to be more prevalent after certain events on campus, such as campus activities that bring more traffic through the area.
Homecoming, for as much fun as it was, is one such example. According to Director of the Physical Plant Joe Mills, there was fair amount of trash thrown on the ground after the homecoming game, even after they had made an effort to put more trash cans out and encourage students to dispose of their garbage properly.
Not all students are part of the problem, and some even take the effort to help. “I noticed that there were some students that walked by and threw something in the trashcan I was loading. They then stopped and picked up five or six more things! There were even some people that thanked us for our service,” said Mills.   
One of the areas that seems to suffer the most is the dorms. To put this in perspective, a hall meeting should never start with the resident assistant, RA, telling you how atrocious the bathrooms have been when they are cleaned regularly by janitorial staff. Or when they do monthly health and safety checks and tell students that their rooms were so disgusting that they don’t want to enter them.
Another common problem is that students leave trash and peelings of fruit, such as bananas, in the hallways and stairways. This again seems unnecessary as there is a dedicated location on every floor for disposing of garbage.
An anonymous student reported something far more disgusting, that one night while on duty, they had found a used contraceptive in the lobby.
The housing department is handling the situation to the best of its abilities while still allowing students to have freedom. One such method that has been implemented is charging the whole floor for excessive messes. The other method is the previously mentioned health and safety check.
The health and safety check is a monthly procedure in which RAs check the dorms for anything that needs to addressed, such as substances that shouldn’t be in there. 
One could argue that it is the staff’s job to both clean and maintain the campus as we the students pay to attend the university, and you would be partially correct.
The WFF and maintenance staff are paid to clean and maintain the campus and provide a service to best of their abilities. 
What they should not have to do is clean up messes such as a coffee that was left in the window for two weeks, as it was something that should have been disposed of properly to begin with.
Mills doesn’t expect students to maintain the campus to the same level maintenance does. He would just like for them to help with the little things around campus and take responsibility, such as properly disposing your trash or contacting maintenance when something is wrong.  
“If people took ownership of things, then they take better care of them. If they think of the school as their school, then I think they would try and take care of it better,” Mills said. 
For more information on what you can do for the campus, contact Mills at [email protected]
Photo Credit: Dakota Knotts