Attention to Lunch Litter

TCP cafeteria after lunch
TCP cafeteria and stage after lunch

By Dr. Halvorson

My husband and I were visiting with our waitress in a restaurant the other day and she was explaining how differently people leave their table after eating. Some, she said, leave their table so neat that it is easy to clean up after them.  Others leave such a mess that they have to clean the floor under the table and even the aisle beside their table.  I asked about children and she said some parents clean after their children and others just leave a terrible mess.  We were at a restaurant that had a gift shop attached and a family close to us had allowed their children to go to the gift shop and bring toys to the table to play with during their meal.  The food was everywhere and the toys got dirty but they left a big tip beside the dirty toys.  I watched as the waitress pocketed the tip and the busboys cleaned the mess. It is interesting how some people think they can buy their way out of responsibility.

Early etiquette books used to include proper manners for how to leave your place at the table when you were finished eating.  There was a proper location for your used tableware at the top of your plate and instructions on how to fold your used napkin and where to place it.  What a long way in the wrong direction we have come.

How does this apply to TCP?  Well, first I want to thank so many students that do clean their area after eating lunch.  Being allowed to roam the campus for lunch makes a large area for potential food trash, but on the whole students are really responsible. The grass field has very little trash after lunch and the picnic tables are cleared. The staff of the student store is doing a good job of keeping microwaves clean.  But there are some areas that need improvement.

A student from the music department has asked me to point out that the stage in the auditorium is being used for lunch and is being left with food trash and spilled food, making its special flooring sticky with potential damage to an expensive stage floor. I’ve also noticed that while students properly dispose of standard food trash, if something gets spilled in the quad or auditorium it is not always cleaned up.

If you spill something, please clean it. There are paper towels in the restrooms and the sink area in the auditorium. Please remember, no food or drink is allowed in the computer lab or gym and let’s not eat on the stage.  I commend those who are responsible lunch diners and challenge those few who have been negligent to join the host of conscientious TCP students.