Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Residence Life revamps cleaning procedures

Thursday, September 3, 2020
Residence Life has placed posters across their dorms reminding students of the proper way to wash their hands, to reduce the passing of germs to others.
Photo by Noelle Williams

This semester all of Southeast is implementing cleaning procedures to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. Residence Life is one department on campus taking extra precautionary steps to ensure dormitories stay clean and free of COVID-19.

Kendra Skinner, director of Residence Life, said RAs are now responsible for providing supplemental sanitation on top of the cleaning procedure done by the custodial staff. Resident assistants are responsible for the sanitation of high touch points such as elevator buttons or door handles while on their rounds at night.

Resident assistants go on rounds throughout their building approximately three times a night every two or three hours until midnight.

The custodial staff are doing the traditional cleaning and enhanced cleaning of high touch points. Enhanced cleanings are more frequent and cleaned with more intensive products.

Outside of cleaning procedures, there are also restrictions to the number of guests a resident is allowed to have at a time. Each resident is limited to one guest in their room. Skinner said guests are considered any person who is not a resident of that specific hall or is not a student at the university.

Due to limited staff, the number of guest requests is tracked via an honor system. This restriction has been made known to residents and is written in the resident handbook. Skinner said if a resident sees this restriction violated, they should report it to the resident hall directors, and it will be addressed with the appropriate resident.

“We are asking people to let us know if they are seeing any issues and to help us monitor those community spaces on their floors and in their buildings,” Skinner said.

Students are encouraged to clean any common areas they are in before leaving. The cleaning products provided to the resident assistants are also provided in all the common areas throughout every dorm and monitored by the custodial staff.

Skinner said the best course of action for residents is to take it upon themselves to disinfect their areas with the provided materials.

“Assume the person before you has not done that when you are going into a space so that you are protecting yourself,” Skinner said.

According to Skinner, the reaction from residents has been pleasant. Despite the restriction, students, faculty and staff still want to have face-to-face interactions.

“Everyone wants to have that in-person experience here … so they know that it is important for them to follow those policies,” Skinner said.

The new policies and restrictions are available in the resident handbooks.