It’s football season again, and therein lies something unique about the Virginia Tech experience and its close ties to football games on Saturday afternoons.
This weekend’s game went well, and it felt good to be back among fellow students, alumni and fans. I am almost always impressed by how Tech fans conduct themselves in the spirit of athletics.
Near the end of the game, many football fans gradually left due to the massive margin of points on the scoreboard, leaving behind an array of empty cups and bottles, aluminum foil, football programs and other trash.
This is not surprising, however, considering that 75% of Americans have admitted to littering in the past five years, according to StatisticBrain.
But the unscrupulousness with which so many loyal Tech fans litter in their home stadium just rubs me the wrong way.
Fans’ behavior at sporting events speaks volumes about the school. In fact, I know of former students who in part chose to attend Tech because of the sense of community they felt while jumping to ‘Enter Sandman’ in a sea of orange and maroon.
However, had I been a prospective student at this game, I might have changed my perception of the Tech community.
One would think that at such a nice stadium, on such a nice day, with the abundance of so many trash cans, fans simply carrying their trash out and throwing it away wouldn’t be difficult.
Seeing all that garbage left behind by Tech fans does not portray a positive image about our fan base, or our university for that matter. In my opinion, littering is a habit of ignorance and shows a degrading lack of self-respect.
But Lane Stadium wasn’t even the worst of it. Parking lots from tailgaters were full of trash and people continually walked by and failed to pick up anything as they passed.
What seems even worse is the fact that alumni, who hold this place so dear in their hearts, would be so complacent and tolerant of the obscene amounts of trash in the stadium and surrounding areas.
At Saturday’s game, I witnessed an alumnus, proudly sporting his class ring, walk away from his empty water bottles and aluminum foil at his alma mater’s own football stadium.
According to Business Insider, Blacksburg is the 17th smartest city in the country. One would imagine that in such an intelligent, progressive location littering would be among the least of our problems.
Such a blatant display of unintelligence and ignorance is totally unnecessary, and I propose that littering laws be enforced at football games, no matter if tickets were purchased or not.
Currently, those who litter in Virginia can face up to a $250-$2,500 fine for littering. Although enforcing the laws won’t totally eliminate littering, knowing that a hefty fine for doing so will cause offenders to think twice about throwing their trash anywhere other than in a trash can.