Anselmians: This nest is all of ours

Aidan Denehy, Opinion Editor

Since I was a freshman at Saint Anselm College, I’ve noticed for a long time that our campus has been a dumping ground for cardboard, beer cans, and other detritus cruelly left behind by those who are too lazy to responsibly dispose of their waste.

However, unlike many stories of ‘illegal dumping’, if you will, this environmental destruction has been self-inflicted; put bluntly, our campus is trashed on a regular basis by our students.

Of course, maybe I’m a party pooper. However, I’m not the only one who notices the littering that occurs around our campus; it’s noted also by faculty, by staff members of the college, and by the monks who live here.

That’s what might be the most upsetting to me. For most students, if they want to leave the damage and waste left behind by a rough weekend, they can jet off campus for a little while. However, the members of our monastic family, who are bound for life to Saint Anselm College, do not have that ability.

It’s as if someone were to go into one’s home and throw trash about, pull signs out of the ground and steal from their property. We wouldn’t find that very enjoyable, so it’s rather sad that so many here seem to forget that there are people here who live here- all year round.

In addition to the disrespect the poor treatment of our campus shows to members of our monastic community, how does it reflect our campus to the community at large and to others who use our campus? What about school groups and youth hockey leagues who frequent our campus to take advantage of the services and facilities our school has to offer? Why should their experience be tainted by piles of trash and refuse left behind by people wandering at night who couldn’t be bothered to carry the empty Michelob a few extra feet to the trash can?

Furthermore, do students find any enjoyment in living in a state of squalor? I suspect not. I seriously doubt that many students here truly enjoy walking through a minefield of tin littered ‘premium malt beverage’ and ‘not for sale to minors.’ If they do, then I certainly hope those are not tastes that carry with them into adulthood.

I applaud the efforts of SGA, and specifically the Bishop-Pratt administration, for their ‘Respect the Nest’ campaign. It’s an important first step to have a grassroots campaign going which emphasizes the health and beauty of our campus and the recognition of the fact that this is our home.

However, it’s not enough. As someone who’s seen a Respect the Nest poster torn down in the middle of a hallway littered with the aftermath of a rough Saturday night in Dominic, I can tell you that truly taking care of our college, and truly respecting our home are values which begin with every Anselmian.

It comes with responsibly treating our waste; it comes with appreciating the value, history, and beauty of our campus; and it comes with the recognition of every student here that our individual behavior does make a difference.

Respect is not a value which can be imposed on students by administration through rules, official college policies, or signs alone.

Rather, respect for our school comes from the appreciation of our environment by us- by the students of Saint Anselm.

I would challenge all of us to truly be better, and to truly work towards the campus we would like to see rather than the campus that we do see.

So maybe I am a party pooper, a Debbie Downer, or someone who is overly serious- but I can assure that at the end of the day, I am proud to be an Anselmian, and I truly hope that we can work together, as a greater community, to make this campus great.