On Tuesday February 21, the student body at Centennial was shown a video that addressed the issue of trash being left behind throughout the lunch shifts. When Mrs. Kristen McManus’s second period students noticed this disturbing display of Centennial students’ behavior, they decided to take action. The “Eagle Pride” video was their way of showing their concerns to their classmates as well as the rest of the staff. It encouraged students to clean up after themselves when they finished lunch so the cafeteria stayed clean.
To reiterate the message in the video, posters were hung around the lunchroom promoting the idea. Mrs. McManus’s second period also went around lunch shifts on that Tuesday with trashcans to help students keep the tables clean.
Since the video was shown, the cafeteria has been cleaner, but not necessarily trash free. Some students have taken the message into account and kept the tables clean for the next lunch shifts, but not everyone is participating. One person cannot do all the work. The people at the table have to come together and make an effort to keep their area clean.
Although not unexpected, a simple movie is not enough to instigate a change. The video is one small step, but it will take more than a couple of posters and a day of students encouraging trash clean up to make a difference. Currently, the issue is fresh in everyone’s mind, trash is being thrown away and the cafeteria is staying clean throughout the lunch shifts.
But what about after the weekend? After having two days to relax and not worry about school, students come back to find posters still hanging in the lunch room as a small reminder of an issue that was important last week. Last week.
The message to keep the lunchroom clean and clutter-free has been pushed into the back of student’s minds to gather dust while new school projects, assignments, and social events take its place, which means, the cafeteria will go back to its pre-video state, and Mrs. McManus’s second period class’ work will be undone…right?
While the video was a step in the right direction, more action is needed. Why not make a weekly announcement reminding students to clean up after themselves? Make more posters to put up around the school or make another video. Mrs. McManus has already taken another step by asking each club to adopt the cafeteria for a week were members of that club would go around in the last 5-10 minutes of lunch and make sure the tables and floor are clean.
By keeping the topic fresh in students’ minds, with frequent reminders, students are not likely to forget the issue and will try to solve the problem. The ultimate goal would be to have students make it a habit to keep the lunchroom clean so reminders are no longer needed. The “Eagle Pride” initiative should be more than a poster and a clean cafeteria, it should represent the pride we have in all aspects of Centennial.