The cleanliness of the cafeteria and courtyard continues to be an issue as students leave their trash behind and janitors are forced to pick up the slack.

The courtyard, where many students elect to eat on nicer days, had to be closed for a short time this fall because it had become too dirty. The staff hoped that when it was re-opened, students would be more prudent about cleaning up after themselves.

“Every student has a responsibility,” said Ms. Jordan, an assistant principal who is very active in maintaining the sanitation of the cafeteria and courtyard. “We owe it to each other to do our part and keep it clean.”

Upon the re-opening of the courtyard, Ms. Jordan implored students to always pick up their trash. Initially, she was very pleased with the results.

Many students are curious as to why the school doesn’t have the bins to sort trash outside in the courtyard. Even those who take the extra few seconds to sort their trash when they sit inside generally don’t subject themselves to the inconvenience of trudging inside in order to sort their trash when they decide to eat lunch outside.

Connor Dwyer, junior, says, “I use them. They really stress the use of them inside so it can’t hurt to try and put one out there.”

Ms. Jordan says that she would be open to that idea but that the school would probably have to get more sorting bins in order to make that a reality.

In the cafeteria, it seems like most people wouldn’t be satisfied with anything but an insignificant amount of trash left behind.

“It really is gross sometimes,” says Dwyer. “It’s not hard to clean up after yourself.”

“[Students] leave their whole tray… that’s not right,” remarks Josh Lee, senior.

Although Andover High School is not at the level of cleanliness that many would hope and there are many students who shirk their responsibility to clean up after themselves, there has probably been some degree of improvement. Senior Carly Sakellarios says that students are better at cleaning up after themselves than they were three years ago when she was a freshman.

Since the four-lunch schedule was integrated, there have been more staff members than ever working tirelessly between lunches to ensure that no student has to sit down to a filthy lunch table.

On a Monday in late October, one staff member was pleasantly surprised by the almost negligible amount of trash left unattended by students after third lunch, exclaiming, “Perfect! Perfect!” while the last few students filed out of the cafeteria.

Hopefully, this occasional surprise will become the expectation here at Andover High School.

By Tim Yaghmoorian