Keeping Our Community Clean

by Sarah McLaughlin '23 on February 9, 2023

Editor's Column

Pick Up After Yourselves, PC

“Darty” season is once again upon us, and for those who remain blissfully unaware of what this entails, don’t expect it to be pretty. Each weekend, the Providence College student body never fails to demonstrate blatant lack of respect for their neighborhood, the environment, and their fellow Friars’ off-campus homes by littering cans, bottles, vape pens—you name it—across lawns, sidewalks, and streets.

When we come to college, most of us want to be treated like the adults we are. But it’s impossible to be treated like adults if we act like children. Littering is irresponsible, disrespectful, bad for the planet, and a physical manifestation of entitlement and laziness. There is absolutely no reason to do it, and it is so easy to not do. Even on campus, where, like the blue light system, you can’t stand anywhere without seeing at least one trash and recycling bin, we wake up each Sunday morning to cans, bottles, coffee cups, and broken glass all over the ground.

Surely you wouldn’t do the same to your own house or your yard at home. So why is it okay to disrespect our campus and the surrounding community?

For years, ECOPC has been hosting Eaton St. cleanups, where a dozen or so volunteers head out before most students are awake on a Sunday morning with gloves and trash bags to pick up all the garbage. This year, one cleanup was the morning after Halloween, so costume pieces and decorations were added to the mix. Not only does this demonstrate the same blatant laziness and disrespect to our off-campus community, but it also shows a huge wastefulness problem. Most of these costumes and decorations were probably just purchased, only to be immediately thrown away—and don’t even reach the trash bin. 

The 02908 Club also has their own clean-up crew who takes care of messes on the weekends, and students leasing the houses face serious fines for litter at the end of the school year. Underclassmen littering at these seniors’ houses could be costing them upwards of $250. Two weekends ago, the 02908 Club workers spent seven hours picking up trash from PC students.

Unfortunately, it is impossible and unnecessary for ECOPC members and the 02908 Club crew to clean the streets and campus every day. PC students have to start taking accountability for their own actions. There are so many easy ways to avoid littering—carrying your drinks in a reusable cup, bringing empty bottles and cans to recycling bins (Are you missing one in your dorm? Email, and reminding your friends to do the same. It’s easy to have fun on the weekend without disrespecting the community and the environment.