Environmental preservation and conservation has been a long standing advocacy of the Ateneo de Davao University. Its expressions to this commitment are found Ecoteneo and the university’s recent efforts in advancing Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, Laudato Si.

Notable also in these efforts where Ateneo de Davao High School (AdHS) was one of the recipients in secondary high school category of the 2nd ASEAN Eco-School Award last 2015. AdHS is also fervent and religious in implementing its Clean As You Go program or CLAYGO, in short. It adapts to the preferences of its students in so much as attaching rudimentary basketball rings in large bins assigned for recyclables such as plastic bottles.

Zooming out from AdHS then zooming in to the college level of Ateneo de Davao University, it is a whole different story. Numerous images have been shared and retweeted across social media showing litter at tables, garbage near the vending machines, and leftovers at the cafeteria. Statements were also made that demanded college students to be better examples to their lower classmen.

This disregard for CLAYGO seems to carry a cultural element. It maybe that the difference between the cultures of the two is the reason why the CLAYGO program in AdHS is more successful in all degrees considered as compared to the CLAYGO program in the college level. The culture in AdHS can be defined as homogenous, in a way that a culture of environmental awareness, in accordance to the university’s mission and vision, has been cultivated ever since a student starts his/her education from the preschool and is emphasized repeatedly until the student graduates.

On the other hand, the culture of the AdDU’s students in the college level is heterogeneous. As such it is hard to see a defining culture despite the presence of cultural assimilation programs such as the First Year Development Program, in which students are oriented of the university’s mission and vision as well as its values of magis, sui generis, and cura personalis. Students of AdDU’s colleges do not come from one school such as AdHS but from multiple schools. In a way, we can think of this heterogeneous culture as a cloth that does not have one single, uniformed colour. Rather, it is a cloth possessing a multitude of different colours.

Knowing that each college student comes from a different school, obviously each school may or may have not CLAYGO or has emphasized environmental awareness in accordance to their curriculums. Due to these various views on how to deal with waste, a misunderstanding takes root of CLAYGO takes root. An example would be a year ago, when there were still 1st Years in the university’s college level.  Imagine that this 1st Year comes from a high school that does not or barely implement CLAYGO.

Instead, the school of this 1st Years has janitors responsible for collecting the school’s garbage and has segregated garbage bins. Thus, the school then thinks that is has already complied in accordance to its view of environmental awareness. Being accustomed to this, when the 1st Year enters AdDU for his collegiate learning, he may not be aware of what CLAYGO is or even if he has knowledge of it, disregards it since he sees that it is a violation of the norms of Atenean college life, observing too that upper classmen do not even practice it.

If then multiplied throughput more students, throughout the other year levels, and throughout AdDU’s colleges, then a cycle is perpetuated. Such is the problem, long been systemic that with each SAMAHAN administration has yet to resolve, must end. A reset of a worldview in SAMAHAN’s is needed, if it is to fully ingrain CLAYGO as part of the greater Atenean college culture.

Another challenge emerges on how to galvanize the studentry in taking a bigger role in environmental issues and concerns, despite the cultural differences that they have absorbed and acquired during high school.

 

Environmental preservation and conservation has been a long standing advocacy of the Ateneo de Davao University. Its expressions to this commitment are found Ecoteneo and the university’s recent efforts in advancing Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, Laudato Si.

Notable also in these efforts was where Ateneo de Davao High School (AdHS) was one of the recipients in secondary high school category of the 2nd ASEAN Eco-School Award last 2015. AdHS is also fervent and religious in implementing its Clean As You Go program or CLAYGO, in short. It adapts to the preferences of its students in so much as attaching rudimentary basketball rings in large bins assigned for recyclables such as plastic bottles.

Zooming out from AdHS then zooming in to the college level of Ateneo de Davao University, it is a whole different story. Numerous images have been shared and retweeted across social media showing litter at tables, garbage near the vending machines, and leftovers at the cafeteria. Statements were also made that demanded college students to be better examples to their lower classmen.

This disregard for CLAYGO seems to carry a cultural element. It maybe that the difference between the cultures of the two is the reason why the CLAYGO program in AdHS is more successful in all degrees considered as compared to the CLAYGO program in the college level. The culture in AdHS can be defined as homogenous, in a way that a culture of environmental awareness, in accordance to the university’s mission and vision, has been cultivated ever since a student starts his/her education from the preschool and is emphasized repeatedly until the student graduates.

On the other hand, the culture of the AdDU’s students in the college level is heterogeneous. As such it is hard to see a defining culture despite the presence of cultural assimilation programs such as the First Year Development Program, in which students are oriented of the university’s mission and vision as well as its values of magis, sui generis, and cura personalis. Students of AdDU’s colleges do not come from one school such as AdHS but from multiple schools. In a way, we can think of this heterogeneous culture as a cloth that does not have one single, uniformed colour. Rather, it is a cloth possessing a multitude of different colours.

Since each college student comes from a different school, obviously each school may or may have not CLAYGO or has emphasized environmental awareness in accordance to their curriculums. Due to these various worldviews on how to deal with waste, a misunderstanding takes root of CLAYGO should be made. An example would be a year ago, when there were still 1st Years in the university’s college level. Now, let us imagine that this 1st Year comes from a high school that does not or barely implement CLAYGO.

As long as there is a segregated trashcans, and students use it properly, the school may think it has complied with their own view of environmental awareness. When this student comes to AdDU for collegiate learning, he or she may not know what CLAYGO is or even if she has knowledge of it, disregard it, because from what he or she sees, no one is practicing it.

Such is the problem, long been systemic that with each SAMAHAN administration has yet to resolve, must end. A reset of a worldview in SAMAHAN’s is needed, if it is to fully ingrain CLAYGO as part of the greater Atenean college culture. Is the ignorance of CLAYGO a passed-down trait from the previous upperclassmen to the lowerclassmen? More so, the greater challenge is how to galvanize the studentry in taking a bigger role in environmental issues and concerns, despite their cultural differences that they have absorbed throughout their days in high school.

 

 

 

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