College students must learn respect, responsibility

Considering others’ time is important part of growing up



If all the washers are taken, how long should you let your floormates’ laundry sit? Maybe 3 hours? No, maybe one? What about 15 minutes?

SAMANTHA RADCLIFFE, Evergreen columnist

The fifth week of school is upon us. The weather is growing colder and the leaves are beginning to change into their autumn foliage. Classes are slowly picking up, giving people the opportunity to form new, lasting relationships with their peers. 

As everyone settles in and learns to live on their own, many problems are arising, especially within the residential halls. 

In my residential hall, specifically, there is evident tension between the floor mates regarding our laundry situation.

One day, sophomore architecture major Juan Fer needed to use the hall’s laundry accommodations. He did not have anything to wear for the next day because all his clothes were dirty. 

When he entered the laundry room, he noticed all the washers and dryers were full of finished but forgotten laundry.

At the beginning of the year, every washer and dryer had erasable sheets where you could write your name, room number, phone number and start time for your load of laundry. But because the dry erase markers stained the appliances, our custodians decided to forgo the erasable sheets. 

Thus, Fer did not know which laundry belonged to whom and how long it had been left sitting untouched – he assumed for about an hour or two.

“I gave a warning of 15 minutes on [our floor’s] group chat,” he said. “I thought the warning would influence people to come and get their laundry, or at least respond with their ETA.”

After 15 minutes and no responses, he took out two loads of laundry and set them on a shelf. Then, he sent a picture in the group chat showing that he was serious about his warning.

“I got attacked for it,” he said. “People found what I did to be very disrespectful.”

In retrospect, our floor was very split on the laundry situation. On the one hand, many people agreed with Fer’s reasoning for his actions.

“We are in our late teens or early 20s,” Fer said. “You should be responsible enough to look after your belongings because other people [on our floor] need to use the accommodations as well.”

On the other hand, many people were highly opposed to Fer’s actions. One of those people was Jayla Fairbanks, sophomore interior design major. 

“I find [what Fer did] to be very disrespectful,” she said. “I get that it is frustrating that you cannot do your laundry when others have theirs in the dryer, but this is the third week of school, and some people are just getting the hang of all their responsibilities.”

Fairbanks explained our floormates may not realize how it hinders others from doing their laundry because this is all new to everyone.

“If it becomes an ongoing issue during the semester, then there is something that needs to be done,” she said. “But for now, a nice reminder in the group chat and a bit of patience would not hurt.”

From this quarrel, it is apparent that my floor mates – and probably every other college student – need to learn respect and responsibility.

You should never touch or move something that does not belong to you, regardless of its inconvenience.

How would you feel if someone touched your stuff without your permission? Like Fairbanks said, it is extremely disrespectful, and most people are not equipped to live on their own, considering these past few weeks are for learning to navigate life on your own.

However, like Fer said, you should learn how your actions affect everyone around you. If your forgetfulness impacts others in a negative way, you need to readjust your manners to be considerate of others. Set a timer on your phone so you do not forget your laundry.

I am going to leave this column with a good quote: “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”