Commons Courtesy

Over the course of this Family Weekend, many students will spend time off-campus with family and friends. Countless will eat home-cooked meals around dining room tables with parents or host families. When the meals are over, most students will be expected to clear the table, wash the dishes, or load the dishwasher. These habits are instinctive parts of being good guests and family members; they are natural acts of etiquette and respect.

But, some Andover students seem to forget these habits of consideration and politeness while on campus. At Andover, students are rarely asked to wash dishes or set the table. In Paresky Commons, where we eat most of our meals, plates are often premade and clean-up is as easy as putting dishes on a conveyor belt. Yet some of us still fail to complete even the basic acts that are asked of us.

Every day, workers in Paresky clear entire tables strewn with plastic cups and paper napkins, wipe down chairs covered with spilled food, and push in chairs that have been haphazardly knocked from the tables. It is not uncommon for Billy Flynn, Custodial Supervisor in Paresky, to make announcements at lunch reminding students to take plates to the conveyor belt when they are done eating.

The apparent inability of some students to clean up after themselves is both disappointing and inexcusable. In a community that so frequently emphasizes its commitment to kindness, empathy, and respect, the inappropriate behavior of these students is unacceptable.

The Paresky staff goes above and beyond their job descriptions when they plan their days in accordance to our schedules. They wake up early on weekends to make sure that we are able to eat before our sports games and standardized tests, and they do not hesitate to accommodate requests outside of their regular duties, such as providing snacks for club meetings and treats for munches. During the harsh blizzard of January 2015, while students were celebrating the day off from school, Paresky staff members volunteered to spend the night in Susie’s so that meals could be served the next day.

Andover students often get caught up in the chaos of our daily routines, and because we are so consumed with our individual stresses and concerns, we tend to overlook the Paresky workers who devote their days to our well-beings. Considering all that the Paresky staff does to enhance our dining experience at Andover, it is hardly asking much of students to clean up after meals and respect the people who make our days possible. It is more than just manners and decency; it is our obligation as members of the Andover community.


This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian, vol. CXXXIX.