Anselmians disrespect the nest over Spring Weekend


Courtesy\Kati Gardella

Sexual assault banners on the ground after spring weekend.

Aidan Denehy, Opinion Editor

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about the “Respect the Nest” campaign and how pushing for positive change in the community could lead to increased respect for the campus and hopefully, a change for the better in terms of campus beauty.

This weekend, however, it appears that Anselmians have forgotten what it means to Respect the Nest; despite SGA’s recent survey results promising that “95% of students [who responded] were familiar with the campaign and what it stood for” (According to the minutes from April 23rd.)

Of course, with any major campus event, some trash is expected. It was, after all, spring weekend; the last opportunity before for students to go out and have some fun, to blow off some steam, and the last weekend for seniors to enjoy a weekend on campus with their friends before quiet hours go into effect and finals season begins.

I hope everyone enjoyed the concert, and enjoyed their weekend- however, it appears that some people either enjoyed it too much or do not enjoy this campus enough, as I was appalled by the littering and damage done to the sexual assault awareness display done on the JoA Quad.

This further highlights to me the fact that although Anselmians may be aware of what “Respect the Nest” means, they may not fully understand the concept. Or, perhaps more cynically, they simply don’t care. It doesn’t make any sense to me that somebody who really cares about respecting the campus environment or keeping campus clean and beautiful would do so by throwing empty beer cans on the ground and tipping over trash cans, or by tearing down signs, posts, and banners hung in honor and memory of those who have been victims of sexual assault.

This further reinforces in my mind the idea that many Anselmians simply do not respect their peers or do not respect the missions of these campaigns. Those who tore down and trampled on the flags which spoke about the grave issue of sexual assault (which is all the more serious on a college campus) clearly disrespect and dishonor the memory of victims. I might even go so far as to say that they might be concerned that is not an issue, which is a sentiment that flies around this campus too.

Furthermore, they have proven they do not respect physical plant, CAB, the Multicultural Center, and the various other groups and associations who worked hard to prepare spring weekend and to prepare meaningful and poignant displays such as the flags on the quad. Whether intentional or otherwise, these students have devalued the work of these important departments by undoing in minutes what likely took hours of preparation and undoubtedly had emotional sentiment to those who prepared the display or were affected by it.

It’s not enough for us to know what it means to “Respect the Nest.” We have to actually embody and live out that message for us to have any effect. The frustrating and frequent counterpoint to asking an individual to change their actions is “it doesn’t matter what one person does; it matters what a group of people do.”

Well guess what? A community is a group of individuals. Community behavior doesn’t change without individual behavior. If one is resistant to change, they are actively working against it. One empty can on the ground may not matter that much, but if every student on this campus thought to themselves “I’ll just drop one empty can, it’s not that big of a deal” then our campus would be absolutely trashed, and that’s an example of what happened this weekend.

Anselmians, as a peer and fellow student, I’m disappointed by what happened this weekend. We all have a responsibility to make our campus the kind of place we want to live on, so let’s do our best to keep it that way.