by C. Garrett Keidel
Beginning this year, the bathrooms in the suite style dormitories will be cleaned at the midpoints of each semester, along with the normal cleanings during the winter intersession and summer cleaning.
The team of 22 housekeepers and porters began the systematic cleaning of the two residence halls on Oct. 3, starting with the 11th floor of Horan Hall. All the bathrooms in Horan Hall have been completely cleaned, with cleaning in Lee Hall starting on Oct. 19 and scheduled to take place through Oct. 31.
“The bathroom cleaning schedule in Horan and Lee has evolved over the years,” said Andrew Weingarten, director of residence life. “Before 2012 our students were left to clean their own suite bathrooms during the entire academic year and our team would clean them professionally during the summer. In 2012 we started cleaning the suite bathrooms during the winter intersession in addition to the summer cleaning.”
Weingarten continued to share the benefits of the reformed system.
“We found that the professional cleaning two times per year versus one time per year was very beneficial. Now, after growth in the number of students we serve and in response to feedback from students and our housekeeping team, we have decided to implement additional cleanings at the midpoint of each semester,” said Andrew Weingarten.
With all of the additional cleaning in the residence halls, the maintenance staff has been able to better recognize issues and safety concerns that need to be addressed. This is all part of a plan to make the dorms cleaner, safer and even more healthy.
With Horan Hall already being complete, residence life has received positive comments.
“Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Our housekeepers are reporting that students are consistently thanking them. Students are also stopping by our office to say thanks,” said Weingarten.
Freshman Camryn Holly is one of the highly approving students.
“I think it’s good because I don’t think college students clean their bathrooms well. I also think that the cleaning will help keep the campus healthier and safer,” she said.
Sophomore Caitlin Hartnett lives in Horan Hall and has already gone through the cleaning process.
“It was really nice and unexpected,” she said. “I couldn’t believe how clean it was. They even took out the trash when it was full.”
Sophomore Mike LaValle continued this discussion.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “Having a professional crew clean the hard to reach places makes it much easier to maintain a hygienic environment throughout the whole semester. Of course it’s still necessary to clean regularly with my roommates, but having help is always appreciated.”
Students also have the opportunity to opt out of the cleaning service if they believe their bathrooms are already clean or if they would not like it for any other multitude of reasons.
However, If they choose to have their bathroom cleaned, students do not have to be present in order for it to be done.
“Our staff members will never enter a student’s room or suite alone. We will always knock three times, announce and identify ourselves, and enter in pairs. For the mid-semester bathroom cleanings we generally enter in groups of three,” said Weingarten. “It takes the team about 10 minutes to clean a bathroom.”
The one thing the maintenance team asks before your bathroom is cleaned is that all personal items be removed from the room prior to them arriving.
In what has been an active year for residence life, this change is yet another aspect of suite style living that has been reformed this school year.