If “Your room looks like a tornado flew threw it!” or “Your room is a war zone!” is still ringing through your head from your childhood, we’re right there with you. A messy room is one thing, but in college you’re introduced to a whole new catastrophe – residence halls. Students should not rely on the weekly cleaners to pick up every wrapper they throw in the common area. It’s a place they live, where their classmates live, and no one likes to walk into a building and smell a foul odor or step on trash, especially if that’s where they have to live. Most students aren’t at fault here, yet are still being affected.
They walk by their building to find ice cream melting down their windows, or they look up during their showers to find mold seeping in. Or if not the building itself, then it comes down to the other students.
Among the issues regarding cleanliness that students need to deal with in residence halls is the issue of students breaking and vandalizing their own homes. Tearing down shower heads, breaking exit signs, defecating in stairwells and spitting in the elevators are a few examples of how students are treating their living spaces, at least in first-year dorms. Needing to put focus onto these more extreme health concerns causes the maintenance staff to not focus as much on more simple cleaning tasks and thoroughly cleaning the bathrooms.
Likewise, there are occasions where students can not be blamed for the conditions of the buildings. Owl’s Nest specifically has complaints of ants running rampant in the dorms, and dust and dirt collecting quickly as a result of the poor ventilation in the old buildings, mold in the showers and on the ceiling.
While students are partly responsible for the uncleanness in the residential halls, communal bathrooms lack necessary resources. Many of the bathrooms are not supplied with hand soap or paper towels. Although some of the Residential Assistants will supply their Residents with soap, they have to on their own dime and the issue of no way to dry your hands is still an issue. Because of this, handles for doors exiting the bathroom are often left wet.
The transition to living with friends in a moderately unsupervised dorm can be difficult, especially when your sharing it with a couple hundreds of people. Cracking down on the disruptive students is a difficult situation, because residence assistance and directors are not there to babysit. Clean up after yourself and hopefully maintenance will meet you halfway.