Students create cleanliness issue

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Alyssa Deplaris

“Once the lunches are over, it looks like a hurricane went through the lunchroom," Sotello said.

Alyssa Deplaris, Social Media Director

Students and staff have begun to notice a decrease in cleanliness during the 2019-2020 school year, specifically during lunch periods. The custodial staff has acknowledged an increase in the amount of garbage throughout the building.

Staff believes that students should be held accountable for their actions. Campus security officer Eric Sotello stated that there is room for improvement.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen more students making a mess than actually helping out. Students are not helping out, whether that’s in the cafeteria, hallways or bathrooms. … It’s alarming because you’re at a point where you’re able to take care of yourselves, so you should be able to clean up after yourself,” Sotello said.

Some students have become aware of the garbage around the building and acknowledge their responsibility to help maintain a clean environment. Senior Gianna Chimino recognizes how her peers play a role in keeping the school clean.

“I think some students do their part to keep the school clean. Other students don’t care. They will make a mess and walk away because the next time they come back it’s clean. They don’t see what the people behind the scenes do to clean up the mess,” Chimino said.

Supervisor of Building and Grounds Michael Reyes spoke on the custodians’ behalf about their perspective of the lunchroom.

“We have less than five minutes to transition from lunch period to lunch period. The only thing we can do is a quick fly-by. We don’t have the staff to accommodate cleaning off every table,” Reyes said.

The garbage in the lunchroom increases throughout the day. Sotello noted what he encounters after three lunch periods.

“Once the lunches are over, it looks like a hurricane went through the lunchroom. There’s garbage on the ground and stains on the table. The custodians have a job to do, but they have the whole school to clean,” Sotello said.

Senior Ciara Scott has 6b lunch, which is the last lunch period of the day. She arrives at her table facing leftover waste from the previous period students.

“When you come to the lunch table, the tables have trash on top, and you’re in charge of cleaning it up. It’s gross, and I do not want to sit at my table,” Scott said.

Reyes noted that if students prioritized managing their waste, the custodian’s workload would decrease. This would allow the staff to focus on other jobs around the school.

“Throw your garbage away in the garbage can and do not leave it on the floor. Especially when you’re starting your day. If you see something that is a problem, let a staff member know so we can take care of it,” Reyes said.

Chimino feels that if students put forth a little effort, a change will occur with the cleanliness of our school.

“If you see a mess, and you have time to take care of it, then do it. If someone threw a paper and didn’t make it into the recycling bin, just pick it up and put it in the can. If there’s a napkin on the table, throw it away,” Chimino said.

Reyes stressed the reason why it is crucial for individuals to contribute towards taking care of the school.

“[Students] spend four years of [their] life here, so it’s important to respect it like it’s [their] own home,” Reyes said.