Residence Halls got a little too trashy, called for change in policy


Elizabeth Dodd

By Megan Robinson
The Carolinian

An email sent to Palmetto and Magnolia House residents last month, stated that the two dorms could no longer use the buildings’ trash chutes, effective immediately.

The ban was a result of an escalating issue regarding trash piling up in halls.

Students were to place small bags down the chute within the trash room and big trash bags into the compactor beside Palmetto House, before the policy change. When trash began to pile up on the floors of both trash rooms, resident advisors attempted to quell the growing issue.

“At each floor meeting, we gave reminders of where you’re supposed to put it,” Palmetto House RA Brandy Bjerke said.

Trash continued to collect within the trash rooms of both dorms, and the Housing Office eventually had to step in, sending the email and designating a crew to clean and lock the trash rooms. The email instructed students to “bag all trash and dispose of it in the trash compactor located beside Palmetto House across from Villa 7.”

As students adjust to the new policy, it doesn’t seem to be a wholly negative change. Students see the increased distance between their rooms and the compactor a slight inconvenience.

“It’s not really a big deal to me, but I kind of wish people cooperated and did what they were supposed to do, so that I could just walk down the hallway [to throw away my trash,” Palmetto House resident Taylor Meyers said. “Taking a walk down the stairs and out the door isn’t too bad.”

Leading up to the change in policy, issues with the chute in Palmetto House did arise, leaving students unaware of where to place their trash.

“The chute was backed up, so people were leaving it in the room,” Palmetto House resident Tatianna Bracey said.

Bracey and roommate Elizabeth Dodd, said the most frustrating issue was that not all of the residents were to blame for the trash pile up. “My roommates and I always made sure to put the trash where it was supposed to go when it was possible,” Dodd said.

Bracey and Dodd were among the most affected by the trash pile up, since their room is directly across from the trash room, which developed a foul odor and gnats.

The new system seems to be effective. Discrepancies within dorm communities are inevitable, but it is the sense of community that can enrich and empower students.

“I’m trying to build a sense of community being an RA,” Bjerke said. “ The solution is really just communication and talking about it, and if there’s an issue that anyone wants to change, going up together to the housing office.”