‘Last straw’ not a weighty issue for WVU faculty

An editorial from The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — “The professor doth protest too much, wethinks.”

At the latest WVU Faculty Senate meeting, some professors raised concerns about an initiative to require them to take out their own trash.

From their offices, not public areas such as classrooms or hallways, mind you, into central bins in hallways.

Currently, custodians perform this service three times a week in faculty offices.

The idea behind this initiative is twofold:

* It makes everyone more mindful of what they’re trashing, rather than recycling.

* And it frees up custodians for bigger and worse things.

One faculty spokesperson referred to this initiative as the “last straw.”

Not to belittle anyone, but someone is blowing something out of proportion.

No one’s suggesting WVU’s faculty should not air their problems or that they are all petty. However, it’s a lot easier to manage or resolve any issue when the aggrieved keep things in perspective.

Another professor attempted to manipulate the calendar and the clock in an effort to prove this initiative didn’t make sense “economically. ”

He pointed out that the federal average number of work days is about 251. Subtract 52 weekends yearly —104 days —from a calendar gets you that, federal averages aside.

He then subtracted about 15 holidays (nice) and 10 sick days from the work year.

Which became 221 days somehow and then averaged in three minutes a day to take out the trash and wash your hands, equaling 11 hours.

First, few, if any, professors are in their offices 221 days a year, not to mention, after factoring in weekends into their work year, many only teach, grade, etc. about 170 days a year.

As for this inordinate demand on the faculty’s time, we suspect — much like all workplaces — it might compensate for that three minutes spent rehashing the game or reviewing the latest episode of “Hawaii Five-0.”

Recycling efforts were already suspended earlier this year in student neighborhoods by the city’s trash hauler because the recycling totes were continually contaminated by garbage.

Now, one professor says her colleagues will not take out their trash if this initiative goes into effect. That might contaminate some things, too.

All that said, there’s every reason to believe that issues affecting WVU’s faculty from salaries and class sizes, to resources and insurance premiums, are serious problems.

But such overly vehement efforts to convince anyone that taking out your own trash is a problem, only convinces us that the opposite is true.

Oh, by the way, this newsprint is also recyclable, so don’t even think about trashing it.

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