Apparently, College has Gotten too Cheap

Students today have so much stuff, they are abandoning dumpsters full at the end of school.

There are some interesting aspects to the volume of stuff college kids discard.

Some find anthropological significance in the mixture of the odd and humdrum.

A typical catch might include "hula hoops, dishes, a can opener, a couple of condoms and notebook paper," said Kim Yarbray, environmental sustainability coordinator at Guilford College, also in North Carolina. She sees it as a kind of symbol of the intersecting stages of life of college students: childhood playfulness, adolescent experimentation, the first tools for adults who must work and take care of themselves.

"Their whole life is right there," she said. "You can just see it in the things they choose to discard."

But mostly it's just an amazing volume of stuff they spend money on and then just get rid of some summer time.

Full Article here.

DAVIDSON, North Carolina (AP) -- With 1,700 students, Davidson College may be small. But you'd never know it when you see the stuff students leave behind at the end of the year.

In a large room at a fraternity house, stacks of clothing, furniture, lamps and electronics were already piling up days ahead of last Sunday's graduation. Mixed in were odds and ends that could only wind up together in a college trash pile: a pair of giant Homer Simpson slippers; a collection of Pokemon cards; a batch of fashion disaster dresses you can only hope were costumes from a campus theme party called the Five Dollar Prom.

College students have more possessions than ever, and in the frenzy of finals, commencement and last-gasp partying before the end of the school year, little time is left for an orderly move. Purging is often easier than shipping or storing.


Davidson isn't the only college trying to put its student left-behinds to better use. Next Saturday, up to 10,000 people are expected to descend on Penn State's Beaver Stadium to pick their way through 62 tons of student detritus at the annual "Trash to Treasure" sale, which has raised more than $200,000 for the United Way. Boston College collects up to 100,000 items annually for dozens of community groups. In the 15 years since its program started, the University of Michigan has channeled 123 tons of "gently used" student gear back to the community.

Programs also have sprung up in recent years at numerous other schools, among them Tufts, Santa Clara University, the University of Colorado, Furman University and Carleton College in Minnesota. Sometimes, student environmental groups are the driving force. But many colleges like the idea, too -- at least more than paying to haul it all away.


Mostly, however, the left-behind items are the predictable, timeless staples of college life: casual clothes, low-grade furniture, countless unopened Ramen noodles. Penn State's sale features about 4,000 carpets, along with stacks of sweaters and T-shirts running down a row 100 feet long and 3 feet wide.

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