Upon coming back to school this year, many students who were residing in upperclass housing discovered a few changes in the light housekeeping services that The University offers.
The frequency of maintenance visits to junior and senior apartments for the 2014-2015 academic year have been decreased from last year’s services. An email sent to students from Residence Life and Facilities Operations in mid-August explained these changes to affected students. In upperclass residence halls, bathrooms are cleaned and common area trash cans are emptied once a week.
Students are now responsible for the cleaning of floors and kitchen areas. Facilities Operations is still providing basic cleaning supplies for residents, as well as making brooms and vacuums available, though students are encouraged to bring their own.
These changes in what maintenance does and how often they do it is undoubtedly a change for many students who are used to the services of past years. But how do the students really feel about the new policies?
Caroline Earnest, a junior living in the Madison Square Apartments, spoke about the revised housekeeping. Since she has been back this year, she has seen the maintenance faculty in her apartment a little less often than she did in her dorm last year, but they have still been taking care of several things, like stocking toilet paper, emptying the trash and vacuuming.
“I don’t think that the new policies have made much of a difference … it’s really not bad at all,” Earnest said. “Most upperclassmen can handle the responsibility because it’s not a lot.”
Earnest does say, however, that she misses seeing the maintenance staff as often as she used to, because they always managed to brighten her day.
Stephen Long, a junior living in Elizabeth Ann Seton House, said that the new housekeeping policies have caused him “to be a bit more mindful of the messes I make, particularly in the bathroom and the kitchen.” Like Earnest, he understands that “apartment living generally requires more cleaning,” but he is more than willing to take on more responsibility.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for maintenance and all the great work they do, so I don’t mind lightening their load a little by cleaning up after myself,” Long said.
Mike Tamburri, a resident of Pilarz Hall, definitely notices the changes in the housekeeping policies.
“My apartment gets cleaned once a week on Wednesday around 3 p.m. They take out the garbage (only the garbage in the kitchen, not in your bed room), and they do basic cleaning to the bathroom,” Tamburri said.
While he agrees that upperclass students should be able to handle the new responsibilities that the altered policy will bring, he thinks that it is going to take some getting used to.
“They don’t vacuum anymore, and they don’t give you one to do it on your own,” Tamburri said.
He also cites this as one of his problems with the new policy, along with the fact that the garbage tends to pile up quite a bit during the time before maintenance comes. But he agrees that with growing up comes more responsibility.
“We are all adults now,” he said, “and we’ll have to do this basic housekeeping when we get out into the real world.”
The maintenance staff members have always been some of the most beloved figures here at The University, and it seems as if the only downside students are finding with the new policies is missing having their favorite maintenance workers around.
Residents who have questions about these new policies are encouraged to contact the Office of Residence Life at (570) 941-6226 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to get in touch with Facilities Operations at (570) 941-4011.
By Erin McCormick