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Still Don’t Care

The Commons Care system changed last year…was it for the better?

No one can deny that the Commons sometimes seems like a mess. Trash and utensils are left on tables and chairs are scattered. Occasionally a teacher will swoop in and instruct students to pick up after themselves.

Commons Care now is much different than before. When Upper School Director Ken Jaffe first came to University Prep, “advisory was the way to clean the Commons,” Jaffe said. However, Jaffe says that system also had its flaws.

“It was hard for an advisor to capture their advisory at the end of lunch.” In order to solve the issues with that system, “We came up with the idea [to assign certain] classes after lunch because the teachers had access to the kids,” Jaffe said.

That was the Commons Care system of last year, though it did have its share of flaws, according to Math teacher Jerry Gallaher.

“It usually took five to 10 minutes out of the class period. It meant that for that week your classes were shorter and if a test was scheduled for that day it was a hassle.” Gallaher was not the only teacher with that sort of opinion on this matter.

“Understandably a lot of teachers were frustrated with it cutting into class time, with the old system,” Jaffe said.

This year the Commons Care system has been taken out of effect, and instead students are in charge of cleaning up after themselves. Though that itself has its own flaws, according to freshman Nate Bontje.

“I’ve noticed that sometimes some people don’t pick up their own messes,” Bontje said.  

This creates problems, because it makes a staff member clean it up themselves. Regardless of this, Gallaher still believes the current system is the right way.

“[Cleaning up after yourself is] socially responsible, and if someone else fails to clean up after themselves, out of respect for the community you should take care of it,” Gallaher said. “[After lunch], I notice utensils lying around…  No one is taking responsibility to take their silverware back. To me that is disrespectful.”        

On the task of always keeping the Commons clean, Jaffe said “In a perfect world student leadership would take that step. Students would police themselves.”

By Ian Lee

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