The Community Living and Learning Center announced last week that it plans to cut housekeeping services for upperclassman residence halls – a move that holds several negative implications.
Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine reasoned that removing housekeeping services will teach students responsibility.
While that may be true, cutting housekeeping services does not appear to benefit either students or the University. Students come to GW expecting housekeeping service in residence halls, so taking it away doesn’t seem fair.
Moreover, if the University truly cared about teaching students responsibility, why are only freshmen afforded housekeeping services? In effect, freshmen will adapt to life with housekeeping then have cleaning services taken away if they choose to return to University housing.
The reality of the matter is that many students will not clean their rooms, which will create an extra burden on the University at the end of the year to rehabilitate its aging residence halls. Unclean rooms might increase the probability of infestation of cockroaches, ants and other insects and rodents.
One would assume that because GW plans on cutting a substantial residence hall service it would also reduce room fees. But, as of yet, the University has not announced a drop in room charges.
Expecting students to purchase vacuums, cleanser and other cleaning materials is not realistic. In the future, residence halls should be equipped with cleaning materials that residents will be able to sign out.
Ultimately, if GW follows through on its plans to cut housekeeping services, the University risks unsanitary conditions in its residence halls. GW officials should be forthright about underlying motives, which most likely include financial considerations.
And the two parties that stand to lose the most because of the decision to cut cleaning services – students and housekeepers – must be dealt with fairly. Room charges should be reduced for students and housekeeping employees should maintain their current jobs or equal employment.