The chronic litter problem within the UOS campus shows no sign of resolution yet. Even though the litter problem has been an issue for many years among students, no fundamental action has been taken to solve it.
This problem becomes most prominent on weekends, with many students still using the campus, while campus janitors are off. The result is a pile of litter covering trash bins, not even sorted for recycling. The problem occurs not only inside buildings, but also outside. After using benches and tables on the campus, students or citizens often leave without cleaning after themselves. The trash thus remains, until janitors return to work.
UOS students are already aware of what is happening on their campus and have repeatedly pointed out the issue. They have been expressing their concerns about litter in Gwangjang, an online community for UOS students. The most worrying part is the school’s reputation. In her fifth year of college life, Na-yeon Yu (Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, ’11) said, “It is tricky. But, basically, it is the students [of the school] who make the litter” She also added, “Having a littered campus is like saying that is the standard we have.” Most students agree the problem is disgracing their own school.
Some school janitors now clean up some buildings on weekends, as well. However, apart from that recent change, the school has not suggested any fundamental way to improve student awareness. Several groups of students have moved by themselves to solve the problem. In summer 2013, the Student Council of the College of Urban Science conducted a voluntary cleaning campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to understand how much effort is required to clean up the litter they leave behind. The UOS Student Council has also led similar campaigns. Nevertheless, those campaigns were mostly one-off events.
Ok-gyu Han, vice president of the UOS student council, has admitted that continuous campaigns are needed. “Though we do not have any campaigns currently, I think we should cope with the issue as soon as we can,” he said. “An slogan to raise attention to the problem would be very helpful.” As Han pointed out, continuous campaigns will make students more aware of the issue and will thus motivate them to make their campus cleaner.