The second floor lounge looks more and more like a public park these days. Garbage litters the floors and tables long after students have left for the night. Napkins, plates, candy wrappers, and even half-eaten boxes of fried chicken are carelessly left for the maintenance crew to handle.

These conditions do not meet the expectations of how college students—almost all of whom are adults—should treat a shared space, especially one where trash and recycling bins are against every wall and in every corner.

Would you be proud to bring a family member or friend to the second floor lounge after 50 people have left fast food garbage from their lunch break strewn across the tables, chairs, and floors? Is that the image that we as Franciscans want to project to our community?

SFCToday asked the maintenance crew these questions. “We can all pitch in,” said a member of the building’s night staff, “And make it easy for the next person. We don’t mind cleaning up—it’s our job—but why students would want their own recreational areas to be full of garbage is beyond me.”

The shift change from day staff to night staff occurs from 6:30 PM to 8 PM each night, so when garbage is left after the dinner rush, there is no one on staff to clean. This makes this time an especially abysmal one for the area’s upkeep.

The night staff—a crew of 15 contracted by SFC from an outside maintenance company Collins Building Services (CBS)—then has to deal with the mess each night. “There’s no shortage of where to put waste,” another staff member commented, “It’s just irresponsible not to take your garbage.”

There are four garbage cans and one recycling bin just for the second floor lounge, and they are almost always within arm’s reach.

Mindfulness of our shared spaces should be a top priority for every student that uses them. Next time you eat in the second floor lounge make sure to dispose of your waste, and if you see something left by another student, help out our community and throw it away.