On July 9th, 2019, a letter I wrote, “Why not hire students to clean up MUN’s lockers?” was published in The Telegram. The focus was on the state of lockers in the ‘MUNnel’ system at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) St. John’s Campus.
Students pay $25 a semester for a locker, and many of the lockers are full of dust and dirt, and some are unused and left open. Back then, upon inquiry, I was informed that it was not university policy to clean/dust lockers, even on an annual basis.
It was concerning then and remains so today that MUN’s lockers are not being cleaned regularly (at least annually, if not semesterly), given the frequency and range of illnesses and conditions triggered by dust and dirt.
A solution I brought forward to solve the issue was for the university to hire students to get them all cleaned out in a few days; plus, this would have created jobs for students.
From a health and safety perspective, the lockers must be cleaned on some sort of a regular basis.
MUN stated that there are around 4,500 lockers, but only about 1,000 are rented each semester. MUN officials responded to my letter by stating that they clean all rented lockers at the end of a student’s locker contract, typically after one or two semesters. Furthermore, they said that non-rented lockers are cleaned in the summer when the MUNnels’ population is low.
The response that MUN officials made publicly was different than the statement I received from the Ancillary Operations Project Coordinator, who stated, “We typically remove any leftover belongings from the lockers, switch the locks, and note damage to lockers for follow up. We have swept out some lockers in previous years to remove major dirt/dust, but have unfortunately not been able to do this for every locker due to the very small time window we have for cleanout.”
This response does indeed support my 2019 statement that “it is not university policy to clean/dust lockers, even on an annual basis.”
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Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.