Don’t underestimate the positive impact you can have on students with expert college campus cleaning
It’s fair to say that colleges and universities are germ factories. How could they not be? You have hundreds or even thousands of young adults living in close quarters in dorms, with hundreds more off-campus students, staff, and faculty joining them each day. It’s a playground for viruses and bacteria. Of course, this likely isn’t news if you’re part of a college campus cleaning team.
What might be news, however, is that campus cleaning isn’t just about the physical health of students, staff, and visitors. There’s much more to it than preventing the spread of germs. The cleanliness (or lack thereof) on a college campus can influence the psychological health of students, the enrollment of future students, and even the longevity of campus assets, such as furniture or flooring. Let’s take a look at some of the details.
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College campus cleaning: What it really means to students
To understand the impact that college and university campus cleaning has on students, let’s review some numbers.
A study at Brigham Young University found that 88 percent of students are distracted by even moderately dirty or messy environments, and 84 percent believe a clean and tidy environment is conducive to learning. A study at the University of Minnesota came to similar conclusions, noting that good “indoor environmental quality” is directly related to “positive student outcomes.”
Another study at a chess tournament found that “an increase in the indoor concentration of fine particulate matter […] increases a player’s probability of making an erroneous move by 26.3%.” Furthermore, a study of air quality and pollution published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management cites a direct connection between high rates of air pollution and increased depressive symptoms. Though the study isn’t specific to college campus cleaning, it’s easy to extrapolate that people feel better in clean environments.
Of course, this isn’t terribly surprising. No one wants to live and work in a dirty space. And if you have allergies at all, you understand the detrimental effect of high levels of “fine particulate matter.”
The Environmental Protection Agency adds to the reasons efficient and effective campus cleaning is important. Indoor pollutants can lead to coughing, eye irritation, headaches, sneezing, congestion, and general discomfort. And dust and mold growth in HVAC systems can spread these pollutants through an entire building.
It’s not just current students impacted by campus cleaning quality. The cleanliness of a campus can also shape the overall impression of the school on future students. In a 2019 study at Western Kentucky University, Lucinnda Sue McDonald found that dirty and poorly maintained facilities led to negative impressions of colleges. She notes that “nonverbal messages,” such as overflowing trash bins or dirty floors, send a message, whether intended or not.
Cleaning & Maintenance Management (CMM) reported the findings of a study of 500 parents of high school students looking at colleges. 48% listed campus cleanliness as one of the top three considerations in selecting a college with their child. And 84% of parents said that campus cleanliness was at least somewhat important.
We shouldn’t ignore the effect on teachers and university staff, either. One look at “Sick Building Syndrome” makes it clear that cleanliness is important to workers, as well. In fact, it may be more impactful, as students move from building to building, while many faculty and staff remain in the same buildings or even offices throughout the day and week.
It’s important not to ignore many of the things we already know, too, such as the fact that rats, mice, and bugs tend to show up in places that aren’t clean, leading to even more potential problems. Furthermore, the facilities themselves wear out more quickly when they don’t get regular cleaning. For example, think about what standing water does to wood floors or the way a dirty carpet wears out as grime and grit are continually ground in as people walk across it.
If you’ve ever doubted the importance of college and university campus cleaning, these facts should make it clear that the janitorial community provides a great service. And should you ever find that you need the numbers to showcase the necessity of your work, with the information here, there can be no doubt that your work is essential for the greater good of the entire university community.
The work of commercial cleaners and building services can often go under-appreciated, and even unnoticed. Still, the work you do has a positive impact on everyone in your community, whether they realize it or not.
Harness the value of Janitorial Manager to streamline your cleaning operation like never before. Learn more today with a discovery call and find out how to make your cleaning operation more efficient and cost effective!