Campus Litter Reveals Attitude of Entitlement


Maggie Doolittle, Staff Writer

While Campolindo was treated to multiple North Coast Section (NCS), NorCal, and State Championship games this year, the triumphs in the field of play did little to inspire spectators in the stands to clean up after themselves.

Soda cups, food wrappers, pool noodles, and pom poms highlight the debris that litters the bleachers after these games, carelessly left behind for someone else to eventually address. Such behavior on the part of student and parent spectators illustrates the sense of entitlement prevalent in the community.

Students approached by La Puma regarding their failure to pick up trash prior to departing from recent athletic contests voiced similar attitudes: It’s the custodian’s job to clean up their mess.

These same students also admitted they gave little thought to how their carelessness might impact anyone else.  None of the students interviewed by La Puma appeared to have any understanding of the actual responsibilities and work loads of campus custodians. Nevertheless, they all seemed content to suggest that while they were free to celebrate by tossing confetti, throwing red powder, and decorating the stands with streamers, balloons, and the like, they were not responsible for dealing with the aftermath.

Campolindo’s school-day custodian, Jesus Paniagua, said, “they don’t think about how much garbage they leave.”  Paniagua and the rest of the campus custodial crew actually spend many hours a day picking up garbage discarded by students in courtyard flower beds, hallways, classrooms, gymnasiums, and the athletic stadium.

According to sophomore Marina Rago, students often forget to “be respectful of their own trash.”

“I once saw a student unwrap something from her lunch, look across the courtyard to the trash receptacle, and then crumple it up and shove it in a crack between the building and a support beam,” said La Puma Advisor Chuck Woolridge.  “And her friends observed the whole thing without saying a word.”

Such behavior does little to dispel the notion that the Campolindo student body is populated by spoiled rich kids accustomed to being pampered by servants.

Not every student on campus exhibits this level of entitlement however. Freshman Raena Chan believes students need to take responsibility for their behavior, and Rago feels badly for the custodial staff who ends up taking extra time to clean up after the careless. According to Rago these students “make [custodians] work harder” than necessary.

Paniagua said, “It would be nice if they at least put just a little bit of trash in the trash cans.” That might allow custodial staff to spend more time providing other important services to the campus.