With co-ed floors, a roommate, no parental supervision and limited supervision from the residence assistants, and cool activities created by the residence assistants all provide ample opportunity for everyone to meet plenty of people and make friends in ways that are a unique part of campus life.
But anyone who has lived or currently lives in the dorms knows all too well the dark side of dorm life: It can get pretty disgusting sometimes. Practicing clean and proper hygiene is always important, but it’s even more crucial to acquire habits that exhibit proper health care when living in a community space, both with your roommate and your floormates. Improper hygiene care is the primary reasons students find themselves victims of the cold and flu season during the winter months.
Angie Cipriano, a Plattsburgh State junior who resides in Adirondack Hall, believes hand sanitizer is one thing every student should have on them especially during flu season.
“Always wash your hands. That should definitely be a given,” Cipriano said. “The other day I wiped down all of my doors and the buttons to get in. I wiped everything down like the handle to my refrigerator, and stuff that I touch like my drawers. I even cleaned the doors that everyone uses to get in [the building]. It grosses me out to think about all the germs.”
Cipriano, a communications major, keeps Lysol wipes, Windex, Febreze, a Swiffer, a broom and a few more disinfecting products handy in her room for her and her roommate to share and keep their room and furniture surfaces clean and sanitized.
Cipriano and her floormates constantly try to contribute to keeping their floor clean.
“Everybody does their own part. We just try to keep the bathrooms as clean as possible because we’re all using them,” Cipriano said. “There’s respect between the girls.”
Head Residence Assistant of Moffitt Hall and PSUC senior Vrinda Kumar has responsibilities and duties to meet community health guidelines, such as building inspections and “rounds” on each floor.
“This building is new. It was recently renovated, so there are no real issues,” Kumar said. “It’s clean and the only issues we’ve had are with the kitchens; People not using them properly or leaving dirty dishes. In that case, we’ll send emails out. We’ll also issue floor meetings.”
Kumar said that because suites only have one toilet, suitemates are more conscious to keep it clean because they share it.
Hygiene problems can cause illness, disease, a bad atmosphere for roommates and a bad living environment for all residents, including resident assistants and resident directors who should be able to get “the bank for their buck” as Kumar puts it who is a public health and social justice major.
If problems do arise between roommates, Kumar said it is important to remember that everyone has different standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Open communication and establishing boundaries are great first steps to resolving these types of issues.
According to Kumar and Cipriano, some basic bath and dorm essentials every student resident should have include toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, shower shoes and body spray.
A vital thought for roommates and suitemates to keep in mind is to have consideration for those around them. “They need to have a sense of community,” Kumar said. “You know, be aware that they are not living alone.”
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