Picture this: you’ve just gotten done with athletic practice. You head to the team locker room to shower and clean up when you notice the smell. As you are showering, you find yourself staring at one of the many clumps of hair coating the drain. You also notice the black mold growing along the floor at the edges of the stalls, along the walls and coating the ceiling. It’s been two weeks since the showers have last been cleaned. Individual locker rooms are cleaned once a semester, if that. Occasionally, the trash is removed.
Cleanliness is next to godliness, or so the saying goes, and according to the school’s website, the custodial mission is to “provide a clean, safe and sanitary environment for the campus community.” They further state that “Every effort is made to provide excellent service in a cost-effective, efficient and professional manner.” The sorry state of the Scot Athletic Center, however, proves that cleanliness is clearly not a main priority of The College of Wooster.
Public facilities and spaces within the building, such as the indoor track and main stairwell,are rarely cleaned, if ever. Even spaces like the communal showers, which are supposed to be more frequently cleaned, repeatedly show constant and obvious hygienic neglect.
This neglect is certainly not a new issue, and one of the main arguments in favor of outsourcing Wooster’s custodial services is a dire need for more regular and thorough cleaning campus-wide. Despite going through with said outsourcing, the problem remains just as appalling, if not more so, this year. Is this a result of the school’s incompetence or the neglect of the outsourced cleaning company? And if the latter is true, why has the school not yet stepped in? Certainly standards must have been outlined in the party’s contract and numerous complaints have already been filed concerning the state of the locker rooms and students’ health. What further steps of action must be taken to ensure that our basic hygienic needs are being met and taken seriously so that we, as students, are able to live in and utilize buildings and facilities that are not only clean, but (at the barest minimum) do not pose health risks to us?
The College of Wooster’s price tag is far too high for students to be dealing with these outrageous violations of basic human health. With the cost of room and board only growing, where is this money going? School administration claims that outsourcing has and will continue to make things better for the school’s students, but have any real improvements truly been made, or is this simply yet another of the administrations’ false promises?