The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

Cleaning Up Our Act

Lewis Johnson
Two of Orono’s many trash/recycling bins stand as more than just places to put garbage.

One would be surprised that such a lesson could be drawn from an article originally intended to make students more aware of their impact on school cleanliness. However, it is apparent that so much more can be learned from our custodial staff.

Cleaning up student messes is not a difficult job. High School custodian Steve Gorman described the work as “pretty easy” and mainly a “reaction to school activities.” Only a few big messes truly have consequences throughout the year, such as when the mezzanine was shut down due to students leaving messes, and even then it hasn’t been shut down since, which is exactly the point.

“It’s important that they learn from those experiences, because eventually they will grow out of that phase,” Gorman said.

Forcing students to clean up their messes isn’t something that happens at Orono, which would appear inefficient, for messes still continue; but by placing the student body’s desires in quarantine due to messes, it creates a system of student to student policing and example leadership.

As many male upperclassmen can tell you, tugging on the door of a locked bathroom during a moment of desperation is one of the least pleasurable experiences one can have at Orono. The principals hold the right to lock a bathroom if students display a lack of respect for the space and its cleanliness, and all students are then punished for the crime of a few.

“You’ll see the upperclassmen start correcting the underclassmen, which helps us complete our jobs because less messes are made. From then, the cycle continues to rotate, it takes some time, but it will rotate,” custodian Mark Karls said.

Students run through this cycle every year, and it appears to work, for by the end of the year the mezzanine is always open for snack break, and the bathrooms are not locked as often.

When underclassmen notice that it’s not that cool to ruin the restroom for the rest of us, they stop, and the example set by the upperclassmen is continually held.

“Take after what the upperclassmen have done, because they’ve been through the cycle, they have the experience, and the positive impact becomes more prevalent as the students grow,” Karls said.

All in all, it is the job of the veteran students to portray personal responsibility to the younger students, for they have much more to go through. Eventually, there won’t be janitors to clean up our messes, literally and metaphorically.

“It is a basic human quality to take care of one’s own personal property. You shouldn’t rely on someone to do things for you, that’s your responsibility, that’s the Orono way,” Senior Jackson Krueger said.

Thank the janitors when you see them in the hall, because they are responsible for a lot more than just cleaning the bathrooms; and don’t forget to be aware of your own impact, because one day, no one will be there to clean up what you have left behind.

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About the Contributor
Lewis Johnson
Lewis Johnson, Staff Reporter
Hello! I am Lewis Johnson, and I'm a staff reporter here at the Spartan Speaks. I enjoy classic literature, poetry, and spending time with my friends.

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