Amherst was treated with unseasonably high temperatures last weekend, and naturally many students took advantage of the beautiful weather, whether by reading on Memorial Hill or partying on the social quad. And while it’s understandable that many students would want to celebrate the warm weather, it’s troubling when the debris of weekend parties interfere with daily life on campus and exploit the hard work already carried out by college staff.
The events of this past weekend were particularly striking as they coincided with Admitted Students Weekend. Prospective students were forced to bear witness to this destruction and trudge through a slew of beer cans and broken glass as they toured campus. And while current students shouldn’t actively cover up a normal weekend life at Amherst for these high school students, images of our campus covered with party trash perhaps sent the wrong message to some prospective students who may choose to not participate in the drinking culture at college.
The aftermath of last weekend was not an anomaly. We often see the social quad battered with Solo cups and empty beer cans after a weekend of parties, but we often forget about the hardworking staff members who end up picking up after us. While the facilities department works to upkeep the cleanliness of our campus, it is disrespectful for our adult students to expect the facilities staff to pick up excessive trash.
Even more troubling, it has become common to find shards of glass scattered over the social quad. Whether it’s accidental or not, breaking beer bottles is dangerous, and leaving broken bottles on the quad poses a hazard to everyone on this campus, including those who do not participate in the drinking culture at Amherst.
Amherst students are privileged to be living on this beautiful campus that is diligently maintained by the facilities department. And while we should enjoy our time here, whether it be through parties or not, we should also remember to act responsibly and respectfully. How can we be expected to be treated like adults when we can’t even clean up our own mess? It’s crucial to maintain perspective and ensure that Amherst remains a place we all can equally enjoy and respect.