In recent weeks, students have left the Innovation Space in various states of disarray, promoting Upper School Head Joshua Neudel to send a community-wide email.
“There has been a lot of trash left in the space, as well as the study spaces,” Neudel wrote, also reminding students that no food or drink, other than water, are allowed in the space. “Please remember to clean up after yourselves or we may need to close some of the spaces until they are used respectfully.”
The Gator finds it warranted though unfortunate that Neudel was forced to send such an email in the first place. We call upon students to treat the space respectfully, and to lead by example.
It’s the least we could request after the community invested tremendous money, time, and energy toward building incredible and transformative new space. As students, we tarnish our reputation by not doing everything we can to leave the space better than we found it. If that means picking up after somebody else or keeping each other accountable, make it happen. Otherwise, it easily appears as if the student body is ungrateful for all that it has—the opposite message we want to send.
It’s also sad to hear how some students are leaving the quiet study cubicles, with trash and loose pieces of paper left behind. As a good rule of thumb, act as if somebody is always watching you and your actions—as may very well be the case at a community this intimate.
We also encourage students to keep the space as neat as possible. Sometimes, piles of books and backpacks appear in the center of the space, which could cause visitors to question our values, including how much we care about taking care of our learning environment. Consider placing your belongings alongside the wall. It will only cost you a few more steps.
Please, also make appropriate use of the furniture. Though fun, resist the temptation to role chairs across the space. The Innovation Space isn’t a playground.
We implore the student body to care for the new space. Do not place Neudel in a position where he has to make an unpopular decision. That’s not fair to him, and it’s not fair to the many generous and hardworking individuals who made the Hastings Center a reality.