At this Sunday’s meeting of the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) Executive Board, the Board discussed upcoming student events and campus improvements, but largely focused on the issue of event clean-up and the campus culture behind the messes that have followed recent social events.
Prior to Open Forum, Clubs & Organizations Chair Aseem Chipalkatti announced that the CMC Clubs website has been completed; the site includes information about CMC’s 40 clubs, as well as all of the five-college organizations. ASCMC’s Webmaster Orlan Davies also gave two important technological updates going into effect next semester: Davies stated that CMC students will regain access to wireless printing, and that the wireless Internet connections on campus should be vastly improved next semester since CMC will finish replacing the routers in every building over winter break.
During Open Forum, the primary concern was event clean-up. Party locations have been left extremely unkempt after events and the handling of the clean-up has been inadequate. ASCMC President Pai expressed disdain for the situation, and described this problem as having two components: on the one hand, he said, it is “unacceptable” to do things like throw red cups onto the ground when there are abundant trash bins in the event area; the other aspect to the problem is that there needs to be a more standardized system for event clean-up, such as potentially creating a task force within Student Security that is paid to clean up after parties.
Pai added that the recent furniture theft by two Pomona students from the Kravis Living Room (“the cube”) is a related issue. According to Pai, the CMC administration has a video from the night of Thursday, September 20th showing these students entering the cube and proceeding to carry two chairs and one table out with them.
The fact that were CMC students present in the cube when the theft occurred and did not intervene, in combination with the disregard for cleanliness at parties, speaks to a larger problem of a culture of disrespect for the campus by students. Similar problems have included students breaking glass and urinating on campus, rather than finding a nearby restroom, during parties. Pai argued that this behavior by the student body is ultimately self-harming; “If we do stuff like that, the administration is going to be less open to listen to us,” he said.
The Board discussed possible ways to tackle this culture of carelessness. The two main approaches offered were to spread awareness of the problem to the student body, and to provide an economic incentive to clean up the messes left by parties.
Vice President Miles Bird suggested an idea similar to “Trash on the Lawn Day,” an annual event sponsored by CMC environmental club SPEAR: create a public display of the mess that students create by piling all of the trash from one party in the center of North Quad the next morning, with a sign included stating the cost ASCMC pays housekeeping to clean up these events when students neglect to do so themselves.
Another idea, offered by Senior Class President Clare Riva, was to reinstate a system that has been previously implemented of offering to pay CMC clubs and dorms to clean up after events. Riva stated that this tactic has been successful in the past because it allows clubs and dorms to raise funds for their activities, and therefore results in greater willingness by these students to volunteer to clean up after parties. ASCMC President Pai also felt this strategy was a solid approach to solving the issue of messy event locations while combatting the underlying problem of disregard for the campus; said Pai, “the economic argument is the best way to change the culture.”
ASCMC President Aditya Pai also announced that Vice President Miles Bird will be acting President this week.