By Suzanne Samin
Transcript A & E Editor
The entrance to the storage center where my housemates and I kept our belongings this summer is probably one of the easiest turns to miss.
So naturally, I missed it every time I tried to go there. Sometimes I missed it twice – once three times.
I’m not proud of it. I’m not proud of the twenty extra minutes I spent cursing under my breath, or the ten I spent trying to finagle the lock on what was, eventually, realized to be the wrong unit.
And by the third time turning around, I wondered why I even had this storage unit in the first place.
Then I remembered that Ohio Wesleyan’s department of buildings and grounds (B&G) and Residential Life very strictly reinforced several times that all storage boxes and extraneous furniture needed to be moved out of our house so that they could perform a nice, thorough summer cleaning.
After taking time out of finals week to move big armchairs and other types of furniture that had dwelled in our house without interruption for many years, I was ready to come back to a well-deserved clean house.
You can imagine my dismay when I came back to dusty carpets, cobwebbed corners, and moldy bathrooms.
Not only did we all now have to clean three months of neglect off of our house, but also the money and effort we spent moving furniture and reserving a storage unit had all been for naught.
Never in my life did I think that my college would refrain from providing me a clean living space at the beginning of the year.
Then again, never in my life did I think that my college would allow my house to fester and fall apart with repairs only granted after weeks and weeks of repeated work orders.
The fact of the matter is, I pay $38,000 a year to go here (and that is on a scholarship) and I expect to have my house cleaned and maintained over the summer.
I’m graduating this May with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and I do not expect to have mold, cobwebs, dust and dirt all over what should be a priority equivalent of a residence hall.
Whenever I tell my friends about this, they say something to the effect that OWU doesn’t care about the SLUs, and that they are all being knocked down in the next couple of years anyway.
So apparently, since Rowland Avenue SLUs are going to be phased out in the near future, it is perfectly acceptable to leave them completely filthy while students are still paying to live there?
I think not.
Is it also acceptable to be penalized because those responsible for maintaining our houses over the summer did not do their job? I think not.
The point is that I should refuse to pay for being neglected, and I should refuse to do someone else’s job for free.
But because my house’s mission means more to me than some potentially really gross situations, I continue to pay and I continue to clean.
However, one thing I will not do is allow this issue to go unacknowledged.
Students live in the SLUs because we care enough about a cause to live it every day.
We care enough to devote some of our time to putting on house projects and interfacing with the community, locally and abroad, in order to make a difference and further our purpose.
We choose communal living not because it’s trendy or fashionable, but because we want to be surrounded by people who care about similar things we do.
So much of the programming that benefits this campus is put on by SLUs.
It comes from college students who plan, budget and stress on top of their academics in order to benefit OWU.
The community service we receive those national accolades for is largely performed and perpetuated by members of the SLU community.
Given these facts, the lack of commitment OWU displays towards the SLUs, down to even so much as keeping our houses clean over the summer, is nothing short of appalling.
You can only miss a turn so many times before it begins to seem intentional.