The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Clean it up, SMU

 Clean it up, SMU
Clean it up, SMU

Clean it up, SMU

Why did you choose to attend SMU? Odds are, the beauty of the campus was a factor in your decision. Look around this campus. The stately, artful Georgian architecture, the stout, shady oak trees, and the majestic, flowing fountains all contribute to SMU’s overall attractiveness.

It’s not perfect, though. There are a few small parts of the campus that have more mud than grass, some buildings are surrounded by construction equipment, and sometimes amidst the stray leaves that are strewn over the sidewalk before the air blowers blast them away, you might see some litter. In fact, depending on where you look, you might see a lot of litter.

Leaving Umphrey Lee, you might see some mint wrappers on the stairs, or near other building entrances, you might see cigarette butts on the ground. While we all love SMU’s beauty, we don’t all respect it – each piece of trash, however small, detracts from the aesthetic appeal that makes this campus special.

The school administration knows that, so they pay someone to clean up the mess. It’s common to complain about high tuition, but because a few people don’t always put their waste where it belongs, a part of everyone’s tuition goes towards picking up the trash.

Of course, not every piece of litter is the fault of SMU students – trash blows in from the rest of the city, which doesn’t get cleaned as frequently as SMU. However, when the state of Texas does pay to clean up trash, it pays a lot. In fact, $35 million of your tax dollars go to contract workers who remove litter from the road. And, because litter costs the state money, you can be ticketed for doing it – the state fine for littering is $500 for the first offense.

We all like to make our lives easier when we can, like when you have to write a five-page paper but you only have three pages with Times New Roman, so you change to Courier New in order to meet the limit. Sometimes cutting corners is just a product of laziness, but other times it’s just wrong. We can all recognize that it’s wrong to dump toxic waste, so it’s not so hard to recognize that it’s wrong to litter small things, too, like cigarettes.

I hope you’ll do the right thing in the future – and encourage your friends to – in order to keep the campus beautiful and save us all some money by taking the extra effort to properly trash or recycle your garbage.

 

Troy Heerwagen is a senior mechanical engineering major. He may be reached at [email protected].

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