Res Life to tackle litterbugs
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 17:10
A significant amount of littering has plagued the Wabash Building. Whether it be glass bottles, pieces of paper or general garbage, some student residents have resorted to tossing trash out of their windows.
After finding glass and other types of litter near the edge of the green roof, Residence Life teamed up with the university’s maintenance facility and campus safety department to combat littering.
“I have a zero tolerance for throwing things out of the windows, and I think that it’s destructive in many ways,” said Bridget Collier, assistant vice president of Residence Life. “One, it’s harmful. It could hurt somebody, injure somebody, and, two, it’s destructive to our environment, and I think it’s just a poor choice for a student to make.”
According to Collier, when it comes to finding solutions, they are keeping their options open. They are looking into things like external cameras or installing screens on the windows similar to the University Center as potential ways to crack down on littering.
However, Collier said that she is adopting a “neighborhood watch approach,” urging students who know about this issue to report it. Using the resident assistants, email blasts and posting flyers to spread the word, Collier stressed that the best way to stop the littering issue is through community awareness and education.
“It’s really unfortunate that one of our peers, one of our Roosevelt community members, would take away some of the values and standards of this institution by throwing trash out of a window,” said Collier. “That’s a behavior that is unfortunate and I don’t think representative of a Roosevelt student who would maintain the ideals of the institution.”
If a student is caught littering, not only will they face a citation, but they will also be removed from on-campus housing. The housing contract outlines the consequences of not following university procedures:
“In the event of removal from residence for disciplinary reasons, room and board refunds may be withheld.”
Students could potentially have to pay out their entire housing contract, even after being removed, for not abiding by the contract and “Student Code of Conduct.”
“Not only would they lose their housing, but they are still paying for it because they chose to throw a beer bottle out the window,” Collier said.
She said that due to students throwing things like glass bottles, pedestrians could be hurt or even killed if they are hit with a heavy object. Collier has also been employing unconventional methods to try to catch the minority of students who litter.
Working in tandem with employees in the Auditorium Building, Collier has attempted to physically watch and count which windows are open and which ones they see garbage falling from.
“This is a behavior that’s reflecting on the student body, and so I encourage students to challenge their peers if they are aware of this behavior,” she said. “Take a stand and say that this is not reflective of us as a community, and we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior.”
Residence Life said they will be continually working with other departments to deter students from littering and catch those responsible.
Student Eric Hoselton said has seen the litter problem on a daily basis. He said, students on his floor not only occasionally litter but also have stolen the garbage can in the past. Hoselton said screens on the windows are not ideal, but may become necessary if the littering doesn’t stop.
“I think, unfortunately, if people keep throwing beer bottles out, then it’s just something that has to be done,” he said. “We can’t have someone die because then Roosevelt could get sued. It just has to happen.”
Hoselton also said that college students should know better than to resort to littering, and that all it does is damage the campus.
“You’re in college! You’re spending all of this money to be here, you may as well not be a slob. It makes this nice, new building not as nice for everyone else,” he said.
Littering? Pledge your support to end it @RUTORCH