Cleaning up not a priority for student body

Andrea Hefferan | Online Editor

Mason High School students clearly haven’t learned how to pick up after themselves.

Every day the cafeteria and the small commons are littered with trash left over from the three lunch bells. When junior Ashley Florence heads to the commons for band practice at the end of the day, she is appalled by the amount of junk she finds.

“Students just need to become more responsible for their trash and if they make a mess they need to clean it up,” Florence said. “They can’t just leave stuff on the table like this. And the custodians deserve so much more credit than they get and us leaving messes doesn’t help at all. Whenever we have after school (band) rehearsal we have to move all the tables to the side, and there is so much crap and food all over the floor. It’s disgusting and the custodians have to clean up all of it and I feel so bad.”

Junior Laura Giaquinto, who has study hall directly following C Lunch, said the clutter is so bad she cannot concentrate on doing her work.

“The trash makes me not want to do my homework because it’s really gross and I don’t want to put my papers on dirty surfaces,” Giaquinto said. “When I’m at home and doing my homework, my room has to be clean because otherwise I can’t focus and it’s the same effect in the cafeteria.”

The mess that takes the students in each lunch period a mere 30 minutes to create takes the custodians around two hours to clean. Custodian Sandy Howard is one of the people tasked to sanitize the lunchrooms and pick up after the student body at the end of the day.

“We come down here every day to pick up the commons, and we clean it after three lunches,” Howard said. “And it’s a mess. It is a total, total mess. Children are throwing food on the floor, they’re having food fights–it just makes our job harder to have to come down here and clean up.


Trash is left throughout lunch rooms, leaving janitors to deal with the mess.


According to freshman Tulasi Rao, it is a personal responsibility for each person to get rid of their own trash, and it is the job of the custodians to take care of the rest.

“We try to clean up our area, but we also want to eat so we don’t want to spend our time picking up other people’s trash,” Rao said. “We have custodians but they’re not really doing anything to clean it up, so there’s just a bunch of mess laying around.”

Student Body President Avi Parshionikar said that while he and other student leaders have acknowledged the problem, enacting a solution is not a top priority for them. Instead of focusing their attention on the facilities in their own school, they are putting the majority of their efforts into community outreach.

“We had talked about having some sort of project where Student Government members would make sure that the cafeteria is cleaned up, or making sure that everyone is doing their part at lunch to keep it clean for the lunches after that,” Parshionikar said. “But we haven’t really started doing anything with that right now because we’ve been really busy with things like Kids Count, bringing in money for children who are in the hospital, and stuff like that.”

Giaquinto believes her fellow students should not be constantly reminded to clean up after themselves, rather, it is a responsibility that they should be used to having. 

“It’s the students’ job to clean,” Giaquinto said. “It’s their trash and it’s their responsibility and some of them are almost graduating. They have to be adults and part of being in that world is that you need to clean up after yourself.”

In order to improve the school, Howard asks for the students to show respect to her and the rest of the custodians by picking up their trash.

“I’d just like for us all to work together,” Howard said. “I know we don’t do this at home so I’m kind of just asking everyone to be aware of their surroundings in the commons. Take care of yourself. If everybody would clean up after themselves, there wouldn’t be that much for us to take care of at the end of the day.”