New College ends scout cleaning of undergraduate rooms
New College puts an end to scout cleaning in its undergraduate accommodation and will instead have regular cleanliness inspections of student’s rooms, something that the college already does in its Weston Buildings Graduate Centre.
Despite only 16% of 118 surveyed students voting in favour of the matter when it was proposed to the JCR, this change was agreed on last Trinity by New College’s governing body.
Further to the change, one scout said they “still don’t know what the expectations are with what they should be doing”, while one student confirmed that there was a “genuine lack of communication with all those involved”.
New College’s Home Bursar stated that no job losses would result from the change, but did not mention if there would be changes in wage or working hours for current scouts.
The role of scouts at colleges is generally to maintain the cleanliness of student accommodation and communal areas, including bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham employ staff responsible for cleanliness in halls, with Emmanuel College at Cambridge even providing a service for students’ laundry to be done for them. The system is criticised for being out of touch with the reality of life after university.
Most UK universities do not offer regular cleaning services. They instead expect students to maintain standards themselves and offer limited visits to check rooms and assist communal cleaning.