Student newspaper at NU-Q

The Daily Q

NU-Q Student Union launches anti-littering campaign

Lolwa Al-Thani, Staff reporter

The first in a series of posters to discourage littering in the NU-Q building.

Constant littering inside Northwestern University in Qatar’s building has led to the launch of an anti-littering campaign headed by NU-Q’s Student Union.

The campaign started after continuous complaints about trash being left around inside the building. Students have been posting photos of litter scattered around the university on social media to share their frustrations and encourage others to dispose of their litter properly. Posts of this nature have increased over time but have yet to solve the problem.

Undisposed garbage in the NU-Q building. Photo by Lolwa Al-Thani.

“I think the [social media] posts at this point have become really repetitive, and they’re not effective because there is still trash,” said Ibtesaam Moosa, a senior and a member of NUQSU’s anti-littering campaign.

Facebook posts about littering have been ineffective because not many NU-Q students are on the platform, according to Zaki Hussain, another member of NUQSU’s anti-littering campaign. The campaign members hope to reach more people by putting up posters all around campus and possibly having a workshop on the proper way to dispose of trash, Hussain said.

Facebook post by Nouf Al-Sulaiti, a student at NU-Q

The first series of posters to be put up around campus last week featured a satirical take on littering, with garbage crying to “go home” to the trash bin. “[They’re] not really to shame people but to get people to talk about it and be part of the conversation too,” Hussain said.

Another version includes a screenshot of an Instagram post with used plastic cups left on a table. The post, captioned “Starbucks <3 #MyCleanNUQ #beJelly,” shows a number of dislikes, rather than the usual ‘likes’ on Instagram.

There are multiple types of recycling bins in almost every corridor of the NU-Q building as part of its environmental initiative, according to Michael McDonough, the director of health, safety, security and environment at NU-Q. “We have considerably more [trash bins] than any other facility in Education City,” McDonough said. “I think it just needs a better attitude from people.”

But litter is still being found in seating areas around campus. Some students say the problem is the lack of shared responsibility for the communal space. “I think the main reason they litter is because they have in their mind that there are workers that are going to pick up after them, and that’s just not right. It’s basic manners,” said Sheikha Bahzad, a senior at NU-Q.

Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman, a sophomore, agrees with Bahzad, adding: “People don’t bother enough, so I think we need a lot of effort as a student body, from faculty and student administration.”

NU-Q has cleaning staff who mop floors, wipe tables and remove trash on a daily basis, according to McDonough. However, increased litter around the building means cleaning staff are picking up after people more instead of focusing on their general cleaning duties, he said.

Another anti-littering poster

“We’d like to encourage our students to be a bit more conscious and careful and thoughtful about disposing of their litter,” McDonough said.

The anti-littering campaigners hope to foster a sense of communal pride among students for their surroundings to alleviate the littering problem, according to Hussain.

“This is almost everyone’s second home,” Moosa added. “Keep it a good safe place for everyone to be at. We have such a beautiful building, so let’s keep it that way.”

 

 

 

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Student newspaper at NU-Q
NU-Q Student Union launches anti-littering campaign