Students Should Clean up After Themselves at Lunch

Elizabeth Jimenez, Staff Reporter

In general Hamilton is a pretty clean school because most students know better than to walk around throwing trash on the floors, but it would be nice if that attitude would stick around through lunch.

The cafeteria at lunch is more like a pig sty. And, sad to say, the students are the pigs in this situation.

Gum gets stuck to the floors and onto shoes, puddles of juice wait to be stepped in and pieces of uneaten food are scattered around on the floor and the lunch tables.

Some students think it’s funny to make a game out of throwing away trash, but they’re not star basketball players and not every piece gets in the trash can.

One minute they think their half-eaten sandwich will shoot right in and the next it hits the floor and they carelessly turn around, hoping it will magically disappear.

But it doesn’t. Our janitors spend their time picking up everything we leave on the floor. They have to make sure the cafeteria is clean before the students arrive for the next lunch hour, which is no small task.

For example, on Thursdays and Fridays they have only 10 to 12 minutes to clean and turn around the kitchens to prepare for the next wave of hungry students.

Janitors are kind enough to not only pick up the trash students throw behind them, but they even walk around with trash cans for the convenience of students.

Head custodian Mr. Chris Debb said, “One of  our biggest problems is that students want to sit in clean tables or booths and the sad part is they often end up sitting in other student’s lunch.”  He said that with the short amount of time between lunches it is difficult to get to everything that needs to be cleaned up.

I hadn’t really thought about this issue until I ended up in ISS for a day. I was given the option of sitting the room or getting out and making myself useful.

Not realizing what  I was getting into, I chose to get out of the room and was assigned  to help in cleaning up the cafeteria.

In those couple of hours I was pretty grossed out.  Now I understand what it’s like to have to pick up trash and clean up other people’s messes.

Unlike the situation for the custodians at lunch, however, I wasn’t being rushed or anything since it was towards the end of the day and all the lunches had ended, but still it was pretty hectic.

During my conversation with Mr. Debb he mentioned something else that I hand’t thought about. He said, “Let’s say you walk in to Denny’s or someplace, you never see kids throwing ketchup packets across the room.”

This is something we really should consider because the cafeteria is not our home and we should be respectful and realize people have to clean up the messes we create.

There’s a solution to this problem. Students just need to be more mature and take responsibility for cleaning up after themselves.

As Mr. Debb put it: “Just pick up your trash off the tables so we can just wipe it off with the disinfectors before the next students arrive. All we are asking for is to pick up the trash that belongs to you.”

Why not give it a try?