Campus Beautification Wastes SSR Time
As the lunch bell rings, members of clubs drudgingly head to the cafeteria overhang to help out with a campus cleanup activity, known as Campus Beautification. The activity is done during SSR, requiring students to walk around campus and pick up trash. While this event serves to beautify the campus with prideful participation, it is not often enjoyable for students. The problem is not that students dislike keeping their campus tidy, but because they are not rewarded for their efforts.
Although many are satisfied with helping the custodians clean up the campus, students are often discontent that they are not earning community service for the event. This is because by cleaning up the campus, they are still participating in an event that benefits their school.
As role models for the school, clubs are required to participate in the activity. However, as club members realize that they are helping out an event that does not benefit them, they become discouraged from taking part in the task. As a result, club officers tend to have to take on the role themselves, without support from the rest of their members. The only time members are likely to appear is when beautification helps them meet a certain number of events that are required for them in the club.
Along with this, those who participate end up losing silent sustained reading time from class, whether to simply read or to start homework from other classes to relieve their workload. There may even be times when their fifth period class starts before they return to class after beautification. While they can be productive during this frame of time in school, students end up having to reluctantly participate in a cleanup activity.
However, this is not to say that Campus Beautification should be removed altogether. Beautifying the campus can relieve the amount of work for custodians and can prevent trash from flying around classrooms and lunch areas. Still, action needs to be taken so that students can work together contently to clean up the campus.
If given an incentive such as community service hours, Campus Beautification can help seniors who are struggling to get their required amount of hours, or help students build up their amount of service learning time to 150 hours, giving them a maroon cord for graduation. Either way, both students and the school will benefit from the activity, and more students would be willing to participate when given incentive.
According to the Community Service Coordinator Maura Brown, the district policy is that students will only receive credit for doing service before school, during lunch, or after school. This obstacle can still be avoided. Instead of having students and club members engage in the activity during SSR, they can participate in it after school instead. That way, the campus is still being beautified daily, and students do not have to worry about losing class time. In any case, steps should be taken to compensate for both the unhappiness from students and the problems that exist with the activity.