Opinion: Residence Halls Require Deeper Cleaning

St. Monica’s Hall, a residence hall located on South Campus.

Have you been seeing hair in your shower drains? Do your sinks have Paul’s soup from three days ago crusted on the inside? Is there an unknown food crumbled in the hallway? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, chances are you have been in a dorm on campus.

 Cleaning of dorm bathrooms and even hallways at the University has been subpar, especially on the weekends. I live on the second floor of St. Monica’s on South Campus, and I watched the same muffin sit in the hallway for three days. I had to take a shower on a Sunday night and saw more hair clumped in the drain than I think I have on my head. As I headed to my room that night, I had a burning question, the answer to which I am sure we all want to know: Why does the cleaning staff disappear on the weekends?

 The obvious answer should be staffing. However, I cannot accept that reasoning. At any job, there is a schedule that all workers must follow. Unfortunately, at some point in your career, you must work a weekend shift. This shift can range from late on a Friday night or most of the day on a Saturday. So why is that system not being brought to light on campus? I am not saying it needs to be cleaned all weekend, as people have lives, but can it at least be cleaned on one of the three days?

 The word around Nova has also been about students wanting to work on campus. Why not allow a student the opportunity of being a janitor on the weekends? Granted it is not the best job in the world, but with how expensive tuition is, I am sure we all would give it a try. This would fix not only the understaffed situation, but the disgusting bathroom and hallway problem too. 

 I also feel as if the staffing is not even the sole issue. It is embarrassing that 17,18 and even 19-year-olds do not know how to clean up after themselves. The issue of cleanliness would be less extreme if we took better care of the hallways, the bathrooms and even the lounges.

 I spoke to other freshmen on my floor about this raging issue. One girl had a lot to say about the cleanliness of the bathroom.

“First off there was a murky film on the toilets and I think it is ridiculous that I cannot sit down without worrying about getting a disease,” she said. “I do not like to walk up to the sink and stare into a basin of food floaters. It is not a Koi Pond. I dearly miss the glorified bleach smell in the showers on the weekends that is now nonexistent. I especially don’t like that my clothes get soaked with spit, soup and water that is spilled all over the counters when I am trying to brush my teeth or wash my hands. And for god’s sake, how hard is it to spend three dollars on air fresheners so the entire bathroom doesn’t smell like poop?” 

As you can see, we all feel relatively the same.

 “I find the use of communal bathrooms quite unappealing. There is no regard for the other people that have to use the shared spaces,” another resident said. “Whether that be food waste in the sink, throw up on the granite and sink, underwear on the floor, hair balls in the shower, it’s all just disgusting. Cleaning up after yourself is not that hard and it saves other people from having to do it instead, because it’s your job, not theirs. Not only is it just gross, but it shows lack of respect for the other people living in the same quarters.”

 The consensus is that “for this problem to change we need to not only rely on the staff but conduct floor meetings to discuss how to be cleaner.”

 It is without question that something must be done regarding the cleanliness of dorm bathrooms and hallways. Not only is it gross, but it can cause all of us to become sick from washing our dishes in the stained sink and cleaning ourselves in the unhygienic shower. I implore Villanova to have a cleaning schedule sorted out for the weekends. I also highly encourage students to just clean up after themselves. This cannot continue.