On October 6th, NAIST students took part in the annual Campus Clean Day event that takes place during one evening in October. In this event, students and professors from all labs in every graduate school get together to cooperate for one hour in the laborious task of cleaning the school grounds. This includes not only sweeping, but also getting rid of the weeds that grow from year to year between the cobblestones of NAIST’s paths.
In this scenario, we took the chance to ask some students their opinion on the event. This kind of event is not uncommon for Japanese students, who participate in school cleaning tasks in middle school and high school. In China, too, cleaning tasks are done exclusively by students, from primary school through to high school.
However, for most of the international students this is the first time engaging in this kind of activity. Philippines, Germany, Russia, Spain… Many students said that there is no similar event in their countries, but they all agreed that it is a good chance to go out, meet new people, and even make new friends. It is also a way of taking a break from the busy work in the lab. Anything to escape the sedentary lifestyle of graduate school students!
“It is a good chance to go out, meet new people, and even make new friends.”
After the cleaning hour is over, everyone grabs a drink and joins the toast delivered by the NAIST faculty. As the sun sets, the tired students and faculty enjoy a well-deserved warm serving of Yakisoba (Japanese fried noodles) and Imo (sweet potato).
Making NAIST a cleaner place is a wonderful thing, but there is a deeper meaning behind this event, where students and professors cooperate equally. We are looking forward to next year’s cleaning!