Confetti-toss photos soared in popularity several years ago and rapidly became a staple for students excitedly preparing to complete their degrees. Texas State was no stranger to this trend and the San Marcos River was not immune to the colorful, metallic plastic flakes that wound up in the water. While school administration propped up signs informing students that confetti needed to be picked up after use, there was no enforcement of this declaration.
People who use confetti in their graduation photos on campus openly disrespect the university and the environment, and for this reason they should not be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony. Texas State proudly boasts the San Marcos River running through campus; storm drains throughout the school and in the city run directly to the river. It’s against Texas State’s principles to pollute, and firmer actions must be taken than a frown from passersby and a sigh at the confetti left behind.
Though confetti perpetrators have been tricky to prevent, this doesn’t have to be tricky to enforce. All that is needed are citizen watchdogs, of which San Marcos has plenty. People just need to keep their eyes open: if someone uses confetti in their grad photos, surrounding students will see them. People post confetti-filled grad photos on social media and followers see them. These bystanders need to contact the Texas State Finance Support Services’ Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management office, at which point school administration will look into the misconduct and take the appropriate actions.
Maybe there’s no true way to regulate this, and confetti use on campus has in fact gone down, but the mere threat of not being allowed to walk the stage at graduation should compel some to reconsider their use of the one-time plastic flakes that trouble college campuses across the nation.
It’s not dramatic to want better for the San Marcos ecosystem. It’s not dramatic to hold Bobcats to higher standards than they’re showing. TXST Administration doesn’t have control over the actions of students, but it does have control over who’s afforded the honor of walking across the stage at the commencement ceremony.
– Naomi Wick is a journalism senior