I acknowledge that as is the case at any school, students often contribute to the abuse of facilities resulting from the direct and indirect consequences of their actions. Georgetown deserves better than the vandalism found in McCarthy Hall: several floors contain writing on walls and doors, trash can be found in hallways as opposed to inside the trash rooms, eggs have been thrown at the doors of dorm rooms, permanently staining the carpets in certain areas, lounge kitchens are not always cleaned after use and one elevator has been without lights for approximately three weeks total as pranksters have removed them three times.

Despite student actions, the university must also take responsibility for maintaining this new residence hall. Bathrooms and hallways are cleaned on an irregular basis and in a poor manner. Debris remains on the bathroom floors as they are poorly mopped without being swept and toilets and shower stalls are often not thoroughly cleaned. Such poor maintenance contributes to an unsanitary living environment that will result in negative health effects putting all building residents at a risk. After careful observation and collaboration with other residents, it has come to my attention that the men’s bathrooms on the fifth floor of cCarthy Hall are cleaned on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thus, five days pass between a particular Thursday and the following Tuesday when cleaning next occurs. If the 10 gentlemen assigned to use one of these bathrooms took one shower each day for these five days, fifty showers would be taken before the next cleaning. To apply this scenario to a home, if a single person owned a home and showered every day, he or she would clean his or her bathroom every 50 days, or approximately every seven weeks. I am sure that university officials take better care of their homes than is illustrated by this example, and should see to it that such a large discrepancy does not exist for residence hall restrooms. Residents of other buildings contend that their bathrooms are cleaned on a regular basis all weekdays, causing McCarthy Hall residents to wonder if Georgetown adequately prepared itself for the opening of a new residence hall.

Facilities workers who clean our bathrooms cannot always meet the demands placed upon them by the student body and the university. Placing excess burdens on them considering the wages that they make would most definitely violate the principle of social justice, which is an integral component of the school’s Jesuit identity. I, along with other students, however, am aware that funding allocated to facilities by the administration has suffered greatly throughout the years, and the university does not have a large enough staff to meet the demands of a new complex that now houses more than the 800 students it was designed to hold because of housing miscalculations. Perhaps Georgetown – as is the case for many other universities – is under great financial pressure; considering though the high costs students are paying for on-campus housing, the funding to maintain facilities and have bathrooms cleaned more often than twice per week should be present. To give you an idea of the exorbitant costs paid by students to live in the Southwest Quadrangle, a triple room (originally designed to hold two people) costs close to $700 per month per person.

In addition to bathrooms not being cleaned regularly, both cCarthy and Reynolds Halls lack security at their entrances. Whereas only Kennedy Hall contains a guarded swipe entrance system, any individual could follow a McCarthy resident into the building after that particular resident opens the entrance doors by swiping his or her GOCard. Nobody needs to pass a security checkpoint or guard desk when entering McCarthy or Reynolds Halls. These security checkpoints are found in all other residence halls and are staffed by students during day hours and security guards overnight. The protection of all students should be a priority at Georgetown University – not just those who live in certain residence halls, and it is time that this concern be addressed before a severe incident occurs. Supposedly Department of Public Safety officers patrol the southwest end of campus via foot every night, but there is still no verification that those who enter McCarthy or Reynolds Hall are indeed Georgetown students. The lack of security in McCarthy Hall might also contribute to the acts of vandalism that have occurred and delivers a message of apathy from the administration, decreasing the incentive for residents to appreciate the place where they live.

University departments including housing, facilities and residence life, along with student groups and McCarthy Hall residents, must come together and recognize the responsibilities held by both parties to respect and maintain this new facility. If such is not done soon, the face of McCarthy Hall will continue to change for the worse.

Eamonn Carr is a sophomore in the College.

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