Holding Houses to a Higher Standard

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Holding Houses to a Higher Standard

Jonathan Sperling, Director of Residential Life, completed his first full quarter of room checks. After encountering the state of student’s living spaces, he took the time to discuss household cleanliness with a majority of the units, but no changes are being made to how cleanliness of housing units is monitored.

Room checks made by RA’s occurs in the third and seventh week of a quarter. There is a detailed list of expectations for cleanliness given to each unit.

This has been the lasting system the school has used to ensure a livable atmosphere in the housing units. After this first round of room checks, Jonathan is seeking to better the lives of students by extending his hand to support them and provide the resources they need to live up to that standard.

RA Michael Mathews commented, “Jonathan has been helping through instruction- teaching, recommending products, giving lists of how to clean. Creating a standard and showing the students how to live up to that standard. Removing the ability to use the excuse, ‘I tried’ or ‘The stain won’t come out’.” 

The fines and systems are in place to help students maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle, while living closely with three or four other people. The first system to hold roommates accountable is the Roommate Agreement that is completed at the beginning of each academic year. RA Josiah Lerman said, “I think that Roommate Agreements, the use of them is less to be a strict contract, while being more an opening for dialogue and guide to help roommates hold each other to a certain standard.”

If there is an issue, the roommates meet and address it. If the issue persists, an RA is involved. If it continues still, Jonathan is notified and intervenes, though he has not yet had to do this. 

Matthews added, “[A] push towards holding everyone to a higher standard seems like one of the simplest ways to positively affect the lifestyle of the students. A lot of students are coming in without a sense of how to clean.” 

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