University students forced to clean up campus

Our university had a cleanup competition today. Some may find this strange but every student had to participate in this competition or suffer the effects on his or her conduct grade.

Personally, I have no problems cleaning sections of the school that I have to use, strange as it is that university students are expected to take garbage to the garbage dump. There is some good to be had from it if the purpose is properly communicated to the students, something that I think the education system in Taiwan has failed to do.

Students do this from elementary school so that they can “learn to be responsible”, I am told. However, at this Ming Chuan University, it is not uncommon to walk into a classroom and see the food containers that students used strewn all over the floor. There have been many instances when our psychology teacher, Dr. Eva Salazar, came to our class and sweep trash from the floor even after other students had arrived before her — so much for education without change of behaviour.

I don’t know what obtains at other universities as far as students taking bags of trash to the dump and cleaning the classroom (which by the way, does not include sweeping) is concerned. However, I have been told by students of at least two public universities, where tuition is a lot lower, that that is not the case there.

“If my university had asked me to take out the trash I would have,” said Kim Douglas who recently graduated from a public university here. They are offering cheap education for all as Confucius teaches. But Ming Chuan University cannot mix capitalism and Confucianism.”

At the privately owned Ming Chuan University, tuition stands at 54, 000 New Taiwan Dollars (US$1, 6 87/EC$4, 387) a semester. That is twice the tuition at some public universities. In fact, I have two friends studying at a public university and their tuition combined is less than mine.

Though I was against the cleaning competition, since I think that it does not serve the purpose for which it and having the students take out the trash was intention, I participated because I am a part of the class.

I also asked some of my schoolmates for their views on the cleaning event.

Our group of cleaners included Journalism and Mass Communication and International Students of the International College. And after cleaning we took time out to pose for a photo.



6 thoughts on “University students forced to clean up campus

  1. Such nonsense! I agree with Kim about mixing capitalism and Confucianism. That threat of a lower conduct grade would not have worked at NCCU. I’m not sure how it works for you but the conduct grade does not affect our average, so it doesn’t really matter. I think most of my peers here would care less either way, I can’t think of any international student that could be forced to take out NCCU’s trash.

    I might be willing to get involved in a cleanup campaign on a voluntary basis, but I think it would be an insult to my adulthood and intelligence to coerce me into so doing. My tuition (excluding dorm fees) is half yours, and it includes a whopping 10, 000 plus dollars that which I was told (after insisting on an explanation) pays for miscellaneous expenses of which I assume our many janitors are included. Again, not sure how it works in your case, but after paying that amount of money, I think it is precious little to ask that they pay someone to take out the trash. University students are not kids, well at lease some of us aren’t.

  2. Yeah Kenton, loved the video. The end was classic, had me in stitches. Notwithstanding it poses some interesting questions about the educational and social system in Taiwan compared to other parts of the world.

  3. While in theory there’s nothing wrong with students participating in a “clean-up campaign,” it is yet another reflection of the failure to properly educate in this country. As we all know, education is not only something we acquire by studying books and finishing with a degree.
    The whole business of cleaning up after one’s self and keeping one’s immediate environs clean is matter of basic hygiene and basic social training. In SVG, we are taught this in kindergarten, elementary school, and in our homes. Think of the classic “clean-up song, “Bits of Paper …” Four, five, and six year-old children sing that song and do the accompanying actions, picking up stuff from the floor and throwing it into trash bins.
    It is quite distressing to think that students at university level here do not have: 1. the social conscience, 2. the personal pride, 3. the basic skills to keep themselves and their surroundings clean.
    My advice to you guys, never forget that while we’re from a developing country and we have much to learn here, we also have much to teach, mainly by example.

  4. Hi! My name is Alexis and I applied for the International Masters in Business Administration program at Ming Chuan University. If you don’t mind, I would like to ask if you have any idea at all about the tuition and fees of the program. I tried looking for it at the website, but to no avail.

    Thank you very much and I’m sorry for any trouble this may have caused you.


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