Life at university, for many students, is filled with memories or lack of memories of drunken nights, killer hangovers the next morning and generally a more relaxed feeling towards the rules, including rules established about bedrooms and cleanliness.

For most students it’s a time to have fun and get a degree. For parents, it’s a chance to try and ensure that their children have a future. For the cleaners…well it’s another story entirely.

Loughborough’s campus hall system encourages a lot of socialising, but still someone has to clean up the mess, and it’s the cleaners who have to take this task on.  Stories suggest that Elvyn rooms present more difficulties in terms of damage caused compared to those of Bakewell, Rig-Rutt and John Philips who are all run by the same team.

Then again, some of the students at Bakewell aren’t angels either. For Bakewell, the naked quad dash seems to be pretty popular and there have been incidents where these students have been caught in action, (the worst being when a university tour was going on) and members of the warden team have had to intervene, although with the student they had to remain serious, once the student had gone they said they “fell about laughing”.

There are few ‘urban myths’ taken from different halls most of which are certainly not fit for publication but one cleaner did mention a snowman prank, where one year a cleaner walked in to literally find a snowman standing in the kitchen! 

Drunken nights aren’t so fun in the morning, for the cleaners as well as the students. There have been occasions where cleaners have found four to five students passed out from the night before in another person’s kitchen and it’s been up to the cleaner to move them, so they could do their jobs.

There have been moments when the cleaning staff haven’t known where to begin. They’ve had to walk in to rooms with sick everywhere, and found many things in places where they shouldn’t be such as underwear in microwaves, condoms on the floor, lollypops stuck to the ceiling, trolleys and traffic cones in kitchens and probably a lot more.

Most of the cleaners said they do have good relationships with the students; they try and get to know the flat and maintain a relationship that is based on people and communication.  The cleaning team have even received cards and presents from students living in halls, sometimes from the messiest flats as a way of apology it seems!

Ok, it is university and sure it’s a time for students to have fun before going into the workplace but I do think sometimes students, including myself, have to appreciate what the cleaners do, and maybe try and make their roles a little bit easier, and a little bit less strenuous. 


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