By TATUM MAPES
With the close of the CBL football season, students can fondly look back on all the fun they had in the Litterbox, Redlands East Valley’s student section. With the constant cheering, singing, laughing and dancing on game day, it is a prime example of the sheer amount of school spirit at REV. The student body is grateful that their neighbors, Citrus Valley and Redlands High School, are willing to let their stadiums be used to celebrate what REV is all about.
However, amidst all the excitement, students become oblivious to the mess they leave. After the game is over and the stands are emptied, what is left behind is a disastrous, near-shameful representation of REV’s student body. Spilled sodas, empty cups and plates, water bottles and torn-apart posters were left laying on a sticky, flour-covered ground. Laura Mapes, a parent who volunteered to clean up the Litterbox after the Smudgepot game, described what she saw. “The red dust that they let go during the game combined with the spilled soda on the ground resulted in a sticky, hard to clean the mess. Ripped up pom-poms and pizza boxes were scattered across the stands. We cleaned the whole thing and the Litterbox was the worst part.”
Jaycen Sunderman, a REV sophomore who helped clean up, shared a similar experience. “It was disgusting, both the trash and the fact that our other classmates, mainly ASB, left all of it.” Ron Kroetz, an assistant principal at REV, described the cleanup process after some student volunteers cleaned up most of the trash. “We had to send crews with scrubbers and hoses down there, and it wasn’t done until Monday.” The general consensus is that, despite the fact that these are only high school stadiums, students must still treat them as if they were Hodges or Dodge Stadium.
In order to respect the stadiums, the schools that own them, those who maintain them and all who enter the stadium should make a bigger effort to keep the stadiums clean. Abby Kapadia, another REV student who cleaned, said that “the students should be more respectful to the stadium and not leave their trash everywhere. Personally, I think ASB should help out since they helped set up for the game.”
Keeping the stands clean may not be as hard as it sounds. A simple way to help includes throwing trash away at timeouts or halftimes. Trash cans are only a few feet away from where fans are sitting, and it only takes about thirty seconds to walk to and from them.
Another way to keep the stands clean is to stop tossing cornstarch in the Litterbox. After the Smudgepot game, red corn starch was spread all across the stands. It was impossible to get rid of all of the red by just sweeping. Kroetz reported that it took a crew with scrubbers and hoses to finally get the starch off. To summarize, one “celebration” that lasted a few seconds required an extra janitorial crew just to clean up the monumental mess.
Football games are great events to rouse school spirit and bring the student body together; however, the garbage invariably left behind paints a bad picture of Redlands East Valley. Half of throwing an event is the pick up after it, and since ASB is largely responsible for what happens in the Litterbox, they should do their part and help pick up afterwards as well. The RHS ASB cleaned up dozens of their signs and decorations after the game, and yet REV left all of theirs for volunteers and janitors to clean up. This is an unacceptable way of representing Redlands East Valley. The student body must work together and clean up after themselves for the good of the schools, stadiums, and employees.
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