Going to the bathroom at a fraternity party may be a cleaner experience than many students expect.
Once a week, a cleaning service hired by the Office of Student Affairs and Fraternity Sorority Life makes rounds at all official sorority and fraternity chapter houses.
In addition to scrubbing and disinfecting the house, the cleaning service also discards used bottles and cups, College sophomore and Kappa Sigma member Duncan Van Nest said.
“The house isn’t in the best shape on Mondays,” said Van Nest, who lives in his fraternity’s chapter house on 37th and Locust streets. He added that “we are lucky they come on Mondays.”
Wharton and Engineering sophomore and Sigma Phi Epsilon brother Michael Latimer said cleaning service members “are pretty discreet and they are not really to going to judge us based on what we leave out.”
However, some fraternity brothers still fear that they may communicate to OSA/FSL about what they find, he added.
After a “paint party” mixer got out of hand, the brothers in one fraternity spent a Sunday afternoon cleaning paint off the composites and hardwood floors, a College junior and Interfraternity Council chapter member — who wished to remain anonymous to avoid association with an unregistered party — said of his fraternity.
While Latimer said “we don’t let the house get that stereotypical disgusting,” he admitted to putting off cleaning up after himself because of the weekly service.
Fraternity members living in off campus houses also have the option to hire an independent cleaning service.
In a Daily Beast article this year, 2011 College graduate and former Daily Pennsylvanian staff writer Daniella Wexler told the story of Kia Grasty, a partner in the independent cleaning service Diamond Cleaning, who makes $140,000 cleaning unofficial fraternity houses at Penn.
She told the Daily Beast she even holds a set of keys to one house.
“It is wonderful … we take it for granted,” Van Nest added. “They put up with a lot.”
Beyond the cleaning service, each fraternity is given a budget from OSA/FSL to purchase toilet paper, paper towels and other necessities. A student house manager is nominated to take care of such duties.
“I’d say if we didn’t have a cleaning service, it may get done … but it’s just one less thing to worry about,” Van Nest said. He added that he is thankful that he does not have to pay an extra fee for utilities or repairs.
At Kappa Sig, Nest said the cleaning staff usually leave fraternity member’s belongings in a separate area.
Before alumni events and annual in-chapter gatherings such as Homecoming, OSA/FSL covers the cost of a cleaning service to tidy up the house, Van Nest added.
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