On the morning of May, Wednesday the 16th , the two terraces and the green areas outside of Café Nexus and CBS were flooded in trash. Plastic bags, plastic cups, empty pizza boxes, and beer cans were scattered all over the ground.
The day before, the master’s students had celebrated the handing in of their final theses, which meant that five members of the maintenance crew spent two hours cleaning up the left overs from the party.
Something, which disappoints the Director of Campus Services, René Steffensen.
“The students are asking CBS to be and act more sustainable. To me that has a hollow cling to it when the students can’t clean up after themselves. There has to be a connection between what we say, and what we do,” he says.
René Steffensen explains that at 2 PM on the 15th of May, six large garbage containers were put out in different places to avoid last year’s mess. Only to discover that they were half empty the morning after.
“It is not up to the high schools or universities to tell the students that they have to clean up after themselves. It’s a matter of manners,” says René Steffensen.
Sebastian Toft Bringstrup, Vice-President of CBS Students, does not agree with René Steffensen on the issue being connected to bad manners.
“With regards to the waste left after the master’s hand-in on the two wooden terraces, it is simply too easy to blame it on poorly raised students. This is an isolated case, and it’s a common responsibility,” he says.
On the 16th of May, Communications at CBS posted two pictures that showed the area outside of Café Nexus before and after the party on their Facebook page. The picture was accompanied by angry emojis, and was also featured on the screens in the main hall at Solbjerg Plads.
“I think there are a lot of different ways of promoting students to help maintain a clean campus, but angry emojis are definitely not one of them. I believe that the best way to tackle any challenge at a university is by starting a dialogue with the students and applying their inputs,” says Sebastian Toft Bringstrup.
On the 15th of May, Café Nexus had the bar open until midnight. During their opening hours, Café Nexus is obligated to clean the terrace outside the bar, and according to Kate Pilkington, Managing Director of Café Nexus, the personnel stayed almost one hour extra after the opening hours and collected whatever trash they could before leaving.
“We clean up the terrace, but we can’t clean up elsewhere too. People were sitting in crowds on the grassy areas near the Wedge as well,” she says.
René Steffensen has no problem what so ever regarding Café Nexus’ handling of the matter at this event and that the students want to use CBS’ outdoor areas, but he hopes that the students will take into account that CBS is also a part of society and is a public space for others to use.
“It injures our reputation. We see more than 194 negative comments from citizens at the “Vi holder af Frederiksberg” Facebook page. Even though we can decide how we use our areas, and when to clean it up for ourselves, we are still part of society. It’s a public place, and people walk by it every day and they send complaints when it is not cleaned,” he says and adds:
“It’s great that the students want to hang out here and celebrate the handing in of their theses, as long as they clean up after themselves.”
Sebastian Toft Bringstrup is regularly having meetings with Campus Services, and he will bring the issue to the table at the next meeting.
“Until now waste management has not been at the forefront of our discussions, but we would be very happy to help CBS look into how new waste management and sustainability initiatives could be implemented for the students,” he says.