It's hard to argue that a Bowdoin education prepares students for the "real world" when many of us never cook our own meals, wash our own dishes, scrub our own showers, or shovel our own snow nine months out of the year. Many of us have become so accustomed to having our messes cleaned up for us at Bowdoin that we've forgotten how to do it ourselves?or have at least appeared to, based on housekeeping's recent reports of the consistently sloppy and occasionally repulsive states in which many students leave their common spaces at the end of each fast-paced weekend.
While some students make the effort to meet and often befriend the College employees who sweep, mop, and sanitize their hallways and bathrooms on a regular basis, we fear that far too many cannot put a name to the face, even if that face passes through their dorms multiple times a week. Housekeepers told the Orient this week that the students they know personally are far more likely to clean up their messes, from pizza boxes to vomit stains, before housekeeping arrives on Monday morning. Those who don't take the time to know their housekeepers, on the other hand, frequently don't take responsibility for the weekend's spills either, and leave messes for others that they presumably did not feel comfortable touching themselves.
It should go without saying that students should treat housekeepers with respect, but regrettably we find that it doesn't. Of course, consideration for the College employees should not be students' only concern when faced with the seemingly simple decision of whether to mop up their own spills or leave them to fester. Respect for hallmates and a general interest in health and sanitation should also motivate students to hold themselves accountable for their messes before the next day's trash begins to accumulate.
The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient's editorial board, which comprises Steve Kolowich, Anne Riley, Anna Karass, Adam Kommel, Mary Helen Miller, and Joshua Miller.