I came across an article tonight via Facebook tonight that was originally published in the St. Catherine’s Standard on Monday April 7th. The article shared how a University of Brock student and Residence Don, Travis Lewis was disciplined for making and posting a YouTube video which showcased the amount of garbage that the 900 students who live within his residence area create. Lewis dove into the dumpster to sort the recyclables out of the trash. His intention was to persuade officials at Brock’s department of residence life to provided tall blue recycling bins in more accessible areas within the Village Residence. Brock physically has the 12 grey and blue bins but they have not been set into place because of “snow” and not having chains to lock them up. Really? We only recycle in optimal weather conditions?
Anyway I think Lewis’ actions should be applauded. He has stood up for his convictions and has done so in a manner that I believe is respectful, to the point and makes a really great impact. Is that not the goal that educator and parents are trying to achieve? To teach young people to believe in something and take a stand?
I do not agree with the Brock University officials that he was putting himself in an “unsafe situation” by climbing into the dumpster. He had a mask and gloves on. As a co-teacher of the Green Team at my school I sort through all kinds of yucky things in blue bins every week to make sure our school is properly recycling before we dump the class bins into the large bins that go on the curbs. And while I’m not sitting inside a dumpster I am doing what I think is eco-responsible. I’ve also been working on writing Persuasive Arguments with my grade 3 students and they are creating smore’s to present their arguments. I think Lewis’ use of Social Media to get his message across is brilliant and I’m pretty sure my students would agree. In fact I’m going to share the newspaper article with them tomorrow and show them the video and I’m interested in hearing what they have to say.
What do you think of Travis Lewis’ YouTube video? Are the Brock Officials correct in taking disciplinary action?