Commentary

A Leftover Responsibility

By Al-Mayahi

As the school year winds down and the summer weather comes out, it is easy to get caught up in the thought of summer break. Accompanying the excitement surrounding the prospect of no more homework and adequate sleep is the natural emergence of lax attitudes within the student body. Relaxation has many healthy consequences, but there are many less appropriate times when we cannot relax our standards.

Hoping to buy a 99-cent cookie, I was greeted by the unappetizing sight of dirty plates and half-eaten food in Susie’s. I was abruptly reminded of the countless emails that were sent regarding the state of Susie’s cleanliness – or rather, its lack thereof. This in turn led me to think about the notice regarding littering on the Great Lawn. And one by one, similar images began to surface in my mind: lunch dishes left on tables, trash strewn across the library basement, even the Andover Night Live Challenges that left puddles, which were left uncleaned, in Paresky Commons. Standing there in the middle among the greasy tables and stained Susie’s couches, a chocolate cookie held limply in my hand, I realized that the cleanliness situation has not gotten any better. And I can’t imagine that I’m the only person who has noticed this trend.

These emails we have received haven’t been simply nagging us for our lack of hygiene. They are meant to remind us about the importance of respect: respect for our surroundings, respect for those who share the same space as us, respect for the freedom that we are given here at this school. That is what, in the joy of these last few weeks, we’ve been forgetting. Cleaning up after ourselves is such a little fix, but in the end, it’s the little things we do that make all the difference.

But that’s just the first step.

Even though the emails have stopped doesn’t mean that our job is done. As the school year comes to an end, I ask that we be respectful of the people and things around us – even while we’re having fun.

May 28, 2015