Lyndsey Wajert: The key to keeping rooms clean

There’s nothing like moving into a new housing assignment in the fall semester. You wonder how you’ll set up your room, where to put your favorite lamp and, why is there is a hole in the wall?

With the new policy that housing programs implemented, students will come to be even more fearful of the phrase “you break it, you buy it.”

The policy requires students living in residence hall rooms with more than one bedroom to be assigned to a specific bedroom, which they will keep throughout the year. Should students wish to switch bedrooms within a housing assignment, they need to notify the University.

GW students can be slobs. You see that when you find beer cans in an elevator on Sunday morning, or when you step over a pizza box that someone left out in the hallway. Sure, someone will clean it up, but why make them do it when you can do it yourself?

I urge the University to go one step further. If a student is a repeat offender of the “broom policy,” or has been forced to pay a separate fee for damages before, then that student should face the threat of losing campus housing. A fine may not always suffice in some cases, and the money that it takes to clean up after this resident is well spent somewhere else.

The University has reserved the right to charge students for failure to comply with GW’s “broom clean” policy, which mandates that if students leave the room messy after moving out, they can get slapped with a $250 fine.

With the new policy in place, at the end of the year, housing and facilities officials will have help in finding out which of the four roommates failed to remove a year’s worth of trash from the bedroom. That student – and hopefully that student alone – will then face the consequences.

Anything that promotes student accountability is a welcome policy, and being able to narrow down who lived in which bedroom will prevent the entire room from getting punished. This is especially important for students living with random roommates.

Last spring, GW charged 487 students in 229 rooms around campus with a fee for failing to clean up after themselves.

So don’t think that you can get away with leaving your collection of beer bottles in your kitchen cabinet. Heed the warning, and get rid of them. It isn’t that difficult to clean a room before moving out. Even if May 1, 2012 is the first time you take a sponge to your bathroom sink in a year – ew – perhaps this policy will at least make students do so at all.

Lyndsey Wajert, a senior majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet senior columnist.

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