Concerns arise surrounding university cleanliness

Editorial Board

For a little over a week, students had noticed trash cans that had been continually piled with garbage, cups and fiending flies outside of The Marketplace. A casual walk by would render a nauseating smell that helped to spoil students’ appetites even before they stepped into the dining hall.

Even as the issue was noticed, the trash cans remained. And they remained. And still, they were there, for five whole days, until finally they were removed, and the stench shifted away from the dining hall’s entrance.

Why did this take so long, even as the discarded food was left to fester, uncovered, in the early September heat?

In the first month of the fall semester, many students have noticed some concerning aspects of the university’s cleanliness. Most notable has been the increasing number of dead animals found and posted to social media. This has raised the question to students: do we live on a clean campus?

Dead animals will happen anywhere you go, but the frequency with which they’ve been found has been surprising. In just the last three weeks, there have been 10 dead birds and one dead mouse found throughout campus. On Friday, the Instagram @unh_afterdark posted an anonymous submission from a student that showed two dead birds and a squirrel eating them just outside of the Recreation Center.

In the dorms, some students have found troubling amounts of dust in the vents and around their rooms. Students in the Forest Hills complex, located just off campus, have also dealt with a recurring black mold problem that has gotten residents sick for many years now.

The university has also made clear the asbestos they have in a number of buildings, outlining the locations of its presence in a lengthy report from Associate Vice President of Facilities Louis Annino. While this isn’t generally something that students need to worry about, it is an underlying threat in the case that buildings get damaged.

These occurrences across campus aren’t the only things to worry about;, it’s also what’s going on inside the dining halls that is concerning as well. Students have posted to social media about a number of problems with food, including meat being undercooked or rotten. Many plates and bowls will have old food on them, which can either be scraped off or ignored by the next student who eats it. While this will always be an issue for any school, it is never a good look when these are the only meals that some students are able to get.

Also, in The Marketplace, a change has been made in their trash shoots, so that food waste, trash and utensils end up going in the same shoot. This has the tendency to overflow, due to the high volume of trash it sees, and students are left to just throw trash on top of the pile.

While some of these issues are unavoidable, there are others where it would be refreshing to see the university take accountability.

Cleanliness in the dorms is an item which should especially be focused on. Such issues shouldn’t arise in the first month of classes when there was an entire summer available to dedicate towards getting these health and safety issues figured out.

Tuition rates currently stand at an annual $42,610 plus the costs of housing and dining arrangements. If this money isn’t being used to resolve issues that students are noticing at every turn, then where is the proof that their money is being put back into bettering their futures?

Until these needs are addressed, they will continue to affect the student experience on campus. We’re only left to ask, is this the experience the university wants to give the student body?