Respect The Commons


Molly St. Clair

BUSTLING AROUND: Students pack the commons during a lunch period.

Molly St. Clair, Editor-in-Chief

As a senior, I like to think of my grade as “elite” in more ways than one. As the oldest high school class, we’ve witnessed the evolution of DGN throughout all of its newest renovations. From the original lunchroom to the shiny new commons area, we have seen it all. Possibly the largest and most noticeable architectural change transformed the old cafeteria into The Commons. Even with the new spacious room, I’ve found the most shocking change to be the overall treatment of the space. 

Each day I walk into the final lunch period of the day to find the leftovers of what looks like a hungry pack of dogs. Food is splattered across tables, napkins adorn the floors, and crumbs seem to conveniently find themselves in every corner of the benches.

This issue doesn’t magically fix itself after 6th period either. As I leave The Commons, I watch as students simply leave the messes they have managed to create within the span of 47 minutes and carelessly walk to their next class. 

When students leave the area without throwing away trash or wiping up spilled liquids, these messes default to the custodians and various members of the CMG department. These hard-working staff members at DGN deal with the problems no one else wants to handle every single day. 

From an overflowed toilet to a spilled drink on a carpet, custodians are on speed dial to clean up and solve these problems to ensure that the school day has as few interruptions as possible. The last thing they should have to deal with is a student’s pizza crust that somehow missed a garbage can a mere three feet away. 

For those who clean up after themselves, good job, you’re meeting the expectation. To the daily offenders of the lunchtime messes, be better. The Commons is not your bedroom. Treat the space with the respect it deserves. 

I distinctly remember a song from kindergarten that taught me how to tidy the classroom after a messy activity. It was a simple tune, but its message was simple and clear. 

“Clean up, clean up everybody everywhere! Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share!”. 

I think it’s time we all revisit this catchy, elementary school song and learn the basics of how to take care of our spaces. If kindergarteners can clean up their messes, I think a group of teenagers can as well.