I rode my bike to Goshen College this morning wondering what perspective I should write for the Record. By the time I arrived on campus, I had run through the lists of my personal struggles and political hot topics. It was at that moment that I beheld the campus grounds. I saw the beautifully manicured lawn,well kept flower beds, and pruned shrubs. I noticed how all the windows in the buildings sparkled in the morning sunlight. I looked down at the sidewalk always litter-free and a smooth ride for bicyclers such as myself.I observed something else as well. Rolls of toilet paper strewn around trees, wrapped around the fences and the water fountain. I sincerely hope that this vandalism is the work of outsiders. Surely no Goshen College student would be so thoughtless and irresponsible. However, it is quite likely that some Goshen College students may have been involved.
I realize that some folk may call me a party-pooper and a kill-joy for having this perspective. I heartily accept the title. Here are my reasons why: Whether toilet paper is wet or dry, it is a hazard for the squirrels and birds who may ingest it. Second, this weekend is Homecoming when all the alumni come to this college. Is this the welcome we wish to give them? Of course not. All this toilet paper will have to be cleaned up. Wet toilet paper is nearly impossible to clean. The custodial staff do not get paid extra for cleaning up the unnecessary mess created by this “harmless” prank.
Finally, the most troubling aspect for myself is the fact that a significant portion of the custodial staff who cleans up after the predominantly white student body is of minority status. It smacks of privilege to carelessly make a mess of the campus grounds because “the help” will clean it up. I don’t believe that attitude represents Goshen College’s core values. We can all do better. I am challenging all students, myself included, to keep our campus clean and environmentally friendly. We owe the custodial staff and ourselves that respect.
April Muro is a sophomore nursing major.