Reflection #2: Service

Picking up trash around the campus

On October 21, I volunteered for picking up trash around the campus. Before I participated in this service activity, I was not aware that there were so many wastes thrown around the campus. My group was assigned to the high street residence street. As I lowered my body to pick up the trash, I could smell the odor. It not only harms the residents but also contaminates the environment. Rubbish including tobaccos and beer cans were thrown on the grass, and the ashes from the cigar and beer spilling from a can were entering the soil. We were assigned only a small section and yet the amount of trash was enormous, as shown in the photo below.

What most shocked me was that most of them seemed like they are from domestic. As seen in the photo, there were beer pong cups, beer can and even someone’s underwear on the grass, which are apparently from party. The amount of trash tells me that they were not the product of only one party night but several. I thought the problem of throwing trash away is the lack of trashcan. It is one of the reasons, but more problematic here seem to be the residents. As residents are mostly students, they are less likely to be reported for such wrongdoing. They might justify themselves by thinking that ‘all my neighbors do the same, so can I.’

The wastes that the residents have thrown out seem they are saying to the passer-by that they can dump trash because residents do not care. The environment made there motivates people to throw away litter on street. This service activity changed my mind about scattered rubbish around the campus. While I did not really think about it as deeply before, I underestimated the problem that volunteer activities to pick up garbage will be enough solution. To actually solve the problem, the community should work to combat the cause by, for instance, increasing more trash can or creating rules for the residents and hiring administrators to manage them.

After the service activity, I felt that Ohio State University really cares about its community and its members. It encourages the community members to help each other and develop the community collaboratively by their own selves. By participating in the service activity, the volunteers, including myself, will feel that they supported the community and the members, growing empathy. Also, they will acquire more knowledge of the world. The service activities provide opportunities to volunteers to experience unfamiliar activities that allow them to look at the world from different perspectives. The more I volunteer for the service works, the more I will grow empathy. Therefore, participating in service work leads to more volunteerism, allowing me to grow as a person. This links back to the objective of Internation Affairs scholars: we learn to understand how local and University organizations encourage the service and volunteerism both around the world and within the community.