Dorm Damage Declines in First Quarter


By Allie Cohen

The first two months of the fall semester saw a reduction in overall dorm damage, with just 24 student damage work orders being placed. Dish damage, however, continues to be problematic, as less than 15 percent of the College’s initial stock of bowls remain.

Of the 24 work orders placed this semester, 12 involved what is called “excessive mess,” or vomit, urine and general debris, found primarily in bathrooms, lounges and similar public areas. Four work orders were placed for damaged or missing equipment and three were issued for fire extinguisher clean up unassociated with a fire.

Assistant Director of Custodial Services Sylvia Manning said that she is sad to see the custodial staff face the student-made messes in dorms.

“[Students] are doing things that they shouldn’t be doing, and this phenomenon is discouraging,” Manning said. “I don’t think the damage is malicious. The only thing that might be considered truly deliberate was an incident of graffiti. Otherwise, I think that students are just making poor choices.”

Manning acknowledged that while dorm damage has not been as high this year as it has been in the past, it remains a problem that must be addressed.

Lost and unreturned dishes, however, remain a constant problem. According to Ross Commons Dining Manager Brent Simons, Ross Dining Hall began the academic year with 300 new glasses and approximately 250 small plates and bowls. Proctor Dining Hall began the year with a similar number of dishes and has since had to borrow bowls from both Ross and Atwater Dining Halls. On Oct. 31, Proctor Dining Hall Manager Dawn Boise emailed Simons requesting a transfer of bowls, for the Proctor bowl count had dwindled to 30.

“Taking dishes results in a loss of inventory and a delay in how long it takes for dish staff to wash and replace dishes,” Simons said.

Dorm dishes, or dishes left unwashed in dorm rooms for days or weeks, are salvageable but must be subject to extreme cleaning measures. Dishes carry mold, and caked-on food residue must be soaked in soap and water for a full 24 hours and washed in the dishwasher multiple times before making their way to serving stations again.

According to Simons, Dining Services recently recovered a load of dorm dishes approximately five feet tall and five feet wide. While salvageable, cleaning the stack of dishes will take several days.

Another issue that plagued the College in the past is tree vandalism. Director of Landscape and Horticulture Tim Parsons reported that not a single case of tree vandalism has occurred this semester.

This drop in damage supports his theory that earlier tree vandalism was conducted by a student or group of students who have now graduated from the College.

The overall decrease in damage hints at a growing consciousness among the student body. As dish damage continues to challenge Dining Services, however, administrators and student groups are working both independently and among each other to find a solution to the dish problem.