Dorm Crew Slump Leads Quincy to Hire Janitors

House residents applaud move to improve service

The bathrooms in Quincy House have a new look--a clean one.

Following the lead of Leverett House last week, Quincy has enlisted the services of UNICCO--a nationwide maintenance and janitorial company--

to supplement Dorm Crew restroom cleaning in its New Quincy dorms.

Five UNICCO workers began their services yesterday, pleasing many Quincy House residents.

"We've had [the restrooms] cleaned maybe twice since September, so I'm all for it," said one Quincy House resident.

"I just saw them, and they're pretty spotless," she added.

The service will continue once a week on Thursdays for a month. At that time, Quincy House will re-evaluate the cleaning situation and decide whether or not to continue using the service, according to Quincy House Superintendent Ronald W. Levesque.

Dorm Crew has suffered from a shortage of workers all year, causing many students to live with unclean bathrooms for weeks because of the sporadic service.

"The cleaning was never a problem," said Quincy House resident Alex A. Athanassiou '01. "Dorm Crew does a great job. It was mainly a question of manpower."

Last year in Quincy House, Dorm Crew workers clocked an average total of 40 hours per week cleaning the House's bathrooms. This past semester, according to Dorm Crew supervisor Robert Wolfreys, that average has dropped to between 10 and 30 hours per week.

While Dorm Crew has attempted to send undergraduate staffers to the various Houses this year, its leaders realize that its staffing problems are forcing superintendents to turn elsewhere.

"It's unfortunate that Dorm Crew is not enough," Wolfreys said.

However, Wolfreys does not see the use of UNICCO as a threat to Dorm Crew in any way.

"It's not so much about them trying to get rid of Dorm Crew," Wolfreys said. "They just want to get their bathrooms clean."

Old Quincy dorms will still be cleaned by the House's five Dorm Crew workers, according to Jason J. Sunderson, one of Dorm Crew's two head captains in Quincy House.

"Instead of being split between Old and New Quincy, they will be consolidated and all be working in Old Quincy, ensuring that the bathrooms will be cleaned more often," Sunderson wrote in an e-mail message. "In addition, it allows our workers to be more thorough in their work, focusing more on quality than on quantity."

With the shortage of Dorm Crew workers being a campus-wide problem, the outsourcing of bathroom cleaning may continue to other Houses.

Quad Superintendent Gene Ketelhohn said he has considered the use of UNICCO but has made no definite plans.

"We've talked about possibly using them in Currier," he said.

Wolfreys welcomes any further outsourcing without hesitation.

"We just want to make students happy," Wolfreys said. "This does not in any way threaten Dorm Crew. We are not getting kicked out of anywhere."