The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

I Don’t Get No Respect

School spaces are being mistreated
Elise Snyder
A girl throws trash behind her into the 9/10 Commons at WCA.

Westminster is being grossly disrespected by students and perhaps even faculty who leave messes behind them wherever they go. These unnecessary cleanups cause extra work for our already busy, understaffed maintenance crew.


For whatever reason, students take poor care of our school spaces, leaving messes behind that someone has to clean. Without fail, the task will fall to our maintenance workers. Many may think, is that not what the maintenance workers are here for? But that is a shallow, self-centered excuse for a lack of responsibility.


Westminster may not be a dump, but one doesn’t have to look far to spot trash and messes around the building.


“There have been a lot of times where I’m walking the halls and I see food and wrappers […] it really doesn’t take that much work. […] People don’t feel sad at all for trashing the school, which is kind of sad to see.” said a junior who requested to remain anonymous.


Almost every WCA student has heard the story of the infamous slip and slide in the freshman hallway two years ago. But how many have thought about the effect it had on those who had to clean it up?


“I think there were some kids sliding on it on their backpacks. I just remember a lot of teachers coming into the hallway […] they were like, ‘you can’t walk this way’. I think it’s just hard for the teachers and everyone to get under control after something like that happens. They had to bring in one of those big maintenance truck things.” said the anonymous junior, who witnessed the end of the event.


The time it took our hardworking, understaffed maintenance crew to clean up a preventable and unnecessary mess could have been spent doing the work they are supposed to be here for.

Steps to Keeping a Space Clean
1. Be Self Aware

When using a space at WCA be aware of your self. If you are being messy, be aware so that you can better clean up after yourself.

2. Stop and Check

Look around you when eating in or just using a space. Is there food on the floor? Did I leave paper scattered?

3. Be a Good Steward

Genesis 2:15 "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." God is calling us to take care of His creation. This extends into our possessions and spaces he gives to us.

4. Appreciate the Custodial Staff

People work day and night to keep WCA clean and well kept. You do not need to disrespect them by throwing their hard work away.

5. Just Don't Be So Selfish

As teenagers especially it is easy to be self serving and unaware. I would call everyone to be a bit more kind and caring to others needs. It's not all about just you.

In an attempt to avoid overworking the maintenance staff further, the Hub began closing during lunch in 2022.


“We were seeing a pattern of the same mess in the same spot […] students were just not picking up after themselves. […] That’s not why we closed the Hub; it was just an additional space that needed cleaning.” said Marjan Kempen, who is in charge of supervising the Hub and watched it while it was open for lunch.


This change forced students that ate lunch in the Hub to relocate; some of these students believe that it was the fault of a few specific groups of people ruining it for the majority.


“We got one or two warnings, and after that [my group] all made sure everything was clean, wiping the tables down with Clorox even. […] I think there were so many people in the Hub, and most people left behind a bit of trash, so it amounted to a lot that needed to be cleaned [by] the janitors.” said sophomore Salem Dawit, whose lunch group had to find a new space after the Hub was no longer open for lunch.


Despite what many students believe, the decision to close the Hub was much bigger than punishing students for the mess they were leaving.

People don’t feel sad at all for trashing the school, which is kind of sad to see.

— Anonymous Student

“This was not a form of punishment. Administration decided to close the hub because we didn’t have the manpower to keep it clean. […] Westminster is a big campus, and there’s a lot to keep clean.” said Kempen. She did not contribute to the decision to close the Hub during lunch.


“This is the central part of school, and it’s also open before school and after school for Pawprint, so it […] being open […] as many hours as it was open, it wasn’t getting the attention that it needed. […] naturally, anywhere that’s gonna see so much usage every day needs constant cleaning […] I don’t think at that time Westminster had the manpower and the cleaning crew to keep up with it.” said Kempen.


“Some people just don’t pick up their trash. […] it’s an individualized thing.”


Between the absorptive carpet, the sticky tables, and the trash from Pawprint and lunch, the Hub became too demanding. Westminster did not, and still do not, have enough maintenance workers to keep such a large, tedious area clean every day. The decision was born out of concern for the maintenance team; however, it would not have been necessary if all students had taken it upon themselves to be good stewards of this shared space.


Fingers cannot be pointed at any one person, or even a specific group of people. If every student is responsible and cleans up after themselves, it may not reverse the changes that have been made. However, it will make the job of our hardworking maintenance staff a little less strenuous. Instead of focusing on what we stand to gain from being more respectful, the Westminster community should be thinking about how their responsibility will help others.


We are called to be good stewards of God’s kingdom, showing kindness, generosity, and compassion to others. 1 Timothy 6:18 says, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share”. Our maintenance workers spend hours every day making sure our school is kept clean; the least we can do is pick up after ourselves.

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