Housing nixes freshman housekeeping

Freshmen will no longer receive housekeeping services in their residence halls, the director of GW Housing Programs confirmed in June, much to the irritation of some incoming freshmen students.

Seth Weinshel, director of GW Housing Programs, said cutting the service ensured housing rates in many first-year residence halls would not increase, adding that the decision to cut housekeeping came after “careful consideration and analysis.”

Housekeeping services typically included vacuuming and bathroom cleaning.

Weinshel added that on a significant number of occasions, housekeepers have been unable to clean rooms due to residents’ personal items scattered on the floor. Housekeepers are instructed not to move residents’ things in order to clean.

“Essential supplies” such as toilet paper and trash cans will still be provided in freshman residence halls, Weinshel said.

After learning housekeeping will no longer be offered in freshman residence halls, incoming freshman Shivali Haribhakt posted an online petition to the incoming class of 2014’s Facebook group to fight to keep housekeeping services. Since its creation in May, the petition has garnered 81 signatures.

Haribhakt says she feels misled.

“We are paying a lot of money for these dorms, and I think that we should get everything we paid for,” Haribhakt said. She added that she plans to call the University to plead her case.

Some students in the class of 2014 claim GW misrepresented itself when it promised housekeeping to prospective students.

“For George Washington to take the ‘perk’ away after promoting it so much on the website, in tours, and through students and admissions. is quite a letdown for many people,” freshman Jenna Gardiner said in an e-mail.

“My parents are paying around $10,000 for dorms which they always brag are among ‘the best in the nation,'” freshman Ken Truong said, referring to admission representatives and the University. “I should get housekeeping.”

For others, the idea of housekeeping was instrumental in deciding to attend GW.

“It definitely was one of the deciding factors when I chose GW over another school,” Meghna Marathe said. “I wonder if I would still have chosen GW if I had known that we would have to clean our own bathrooms.”

Weinshel said removing freshman housekeeping services would allow the University to refocus funds to “cleaning common areas in all buildings.”

“We hope this change will encourage greater responsibility and independent living as our students become acclimated to college life,” Weinshel said.

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