Bring back Build La Verne Day

Campus Times
November 8, 1996

The solemn student saunters from the Spot after a satisfying meal and takes the straw wrapper that he placed in his pocket and, rather than throwing it in one of the many trash cans in the Spot, he wads it up into a tight little ball and tosses it on the grass as he walks along the muddy dirt path toward Founders Hall. Just a miniscule piece of trash for one student, it becomes a giant trash heap for the small campus where we reside.

The days of Smokey the Bear's "Give a hoot, don't pollute" have seemed to die out with frenzied water conservation in California and, unfortunately, the effects can often be seen on the University of La Verne campus. Whether it is a simple straw wrapper, an empty coke can, smelly cigarette butts or puddles of tobacco juice, pride in the ULV campus has been tossed to the wayside along with the trash from so many fast food lunches.

Eating in class results in a whole new problem. Chomping away during a lecture seems to be simple, but picking up the paper plate, fork, chip bag, empty cup and two candy wrappers is quite the challenge. Strategically crumpling every piece of trash and placing it in the cup seems like a surefire solution until that Fritos bag expands expelling the candy wrappers from the cup. Of course class is over and the time it may take to pick up those wrappers will take away from your precious nap time. Which is more important-the ULV campus or sleep?

What if time is of the essence and a stop by the trash can will rob you of precious study time? While running to a class, you try to toss your empty cup in the nearest trash can while whizzing by at five miles per hour. Like the dust you have left behind, the cup bounces off the corner of the trash can and lands beside it, along with somebody else's plastic fork.

Back in the old days (1980 to be exact) approximately 500 students, faculty, alumni and community residents pledged to make the University of La Verne campus beautiful after years of wear and tear. This included picking up trash, painting classrooms, refurbishing the gym and cleaning offices. Termed "Build La Verne Day," the four-day event instilled pride in the school and attempted to break the harmful routines of trampling the grass and tossing trash carelessly on the campus. Within a year, the four-day event became a one day event and by 1983, student apathy along with the "too-little-time" syndrome plagued the University and eliminated the event.

Now that life is at a constant hectic pace, Build La Verne Day may be the perfect way to "pick up after ourselves" and spend a day or two with faculty members and other students just fixing what has been broken and lost within the routine in everyday life, while rebuilding community.

Perhaps rather than wearing orange bracelets and reciting the Alma Mater to demonstrate spirit, these fun activities could take a back seat to a more important Build La Verne Day, where students and faculty could actually demonstrate their spirit through improving the campus.

Perhaps next time, while you are sitting in class gnawing on that piece of Laffy Taffy you found in your backpack from Halloween, remember that while it is so easy to take the wrapper, fold it into a nice piece of origami and flick at an unsuspecting class member, that whether the target is hit, most likely the piece of paper will trampled into the carpet. Until we can get enough support to reinstate "Build La Verne" Day, we will just have to pick up after ourselves like mother always told us to.