University taking advantage of empty campus with spring cleaning


With the university closed and the majority of students moved out, spring cleaning has come early for the university’s janitorial staff.

On March 18, the university switched to 100% online classes. Since then, a majority of students have left on-campus housing, and all on-campus restaurants have closed except for the Mane Dish, which now has limited hours of operation.

With students gone, the university has undertaken the cleaning duties that are normally done after students leave for the summer.

Alex Anderson, assistant director of facilities for university housing, shared some of the measures that the university is taking to ensure everything is sanitized and cleaned.

“University Housing has increased its sanitation methods to twice per day in common areas, rather than just once,” said Anderson. “We sanitize our high traffic areas multiple times per day, closed large gathering spaces to ensure large groups are not gathering and have posted in our halls and emailed our residents to ensure that they know the importance of cleaning.”

Anderson also explained that the janitorial staff has changed their sanitation methods to be more thorough.

“Our custodians are cleaning and disinfecting all empty room spaces with an enzyme cleaner, as well as hospital-grade disinfectants that will kill viruses and bacteria,” commented Anderson. “These spaces include, but are not limited to, all cabinets, light switches, furnishings, mattresses, floors, showers, tubs and toilets.”

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the importance of cleanliness and sanitation for university housing. Anderson explained the process of checking rooms.

“We are thoroughly checking to ensure that each space is properly sanitized before documenting any space is cleared to be marked as clean,” said Anderson. “Once spaces have been deemed cleaned we are closing the spaces until needed.”

The janitorial staff is not the only group affected by these increased sanitation measures. Resident assistants still on campus during the pandemic have also seen their roles increase.

Abbie Hayes, a sophomore biological sciences major and RA in Hammond Hall, explained some of the new duties that belong to RAs.

“At first, the RAs were helping out in the residence halls by wiping down the stairway railings, lobby tables and door handles with Clorox wipes,” said Hayes. “Eventually, the side doors were deemed emergency exits and the lobby door is now the only entrance. The remaining RAs are on Emergency Staff now and have more responsibility than before.”

Since the switch to online classes, most residential students have checked out of their dorms. This exodus of residents has affected how RAs perform their duties.

Hayes explained how her role as an RA has changed in addition to new sanitation duties.

“Since we have a smaller group of RAs, we’re split into three groups, and one out of each of us are on duty and in charge of four or five of the residence buildings on duty night or weekend duty days,” said Hayes.

Anderson included a suggestion for all residents still on campus.

“We have provided additional information about washing clothing and linens regularly, personal hygiene methods and cleaning methods to all residents,” said Anderson. “We suggest showering regularly, washing hands multiple times per day, washing clothing and wiping down surfaces at least every two days, cleaning linens, sweeping, mopping and cleaning bathrooms weekly at least once per week.”