Moldy Laundry and Liquid in the Trash Cans: Dorm Etiquette Tips to Keep Everyone Happy


With 263 students living on campus this school year, Williston’s boarding community is lively and thriving. Although the dorm heads work diligently with the proctors, other dorm parents, and boarders within their specific dorms, many still believe, however, that dorm etiquette is clearly lacking amongst the Williston community.

There are currently eight dorms on campus open to students in 9-12th grade: Ford Hall, Memorial Hall (Mem) East and West, Logan House, Wold House, John Hazen White House, Emily McFadon Vincent House (EMV), and John Wright (JW).

As a second-year boarder at Williston, I have lived in EMV for the past two years. The newest dorm on campus, EMV upholds the expectation of being an extremely well kept and a clean living space. However, I can’t help notice those  who choose to throw their personal trash in the trash cans located in the hallways and kitchen. These trash cans are conveniently located in case one needs a trash can for something small while walking in the halls or cooking something in the kitchen. At the end of the week before room checks, we are expected to take out our personal trash from our rooms to the dumpster near the middle school. EMV is conveniently located; the walk takes less than four minutes.

Throwing your personal trash into the cans shows blatant disregard for the many people who live in the dorm who rotate between trash duty regularly, as well as for the gracious people who clean our dorm daily.

Grgur Bric, a first year Post Graduate from Croatia agreed that Mem West has similar problems.

“We definitely are not as clean as we should be especially when it comes to trash in the dorm,” he said. “Although when you consider how many boys are living in Mem, I feel like we do a pretty good job.”

A universal problem within almost every dorm on campus happens in the laundry rooms. Many Williston students have extremely rigorous schedules, making free time something that most people do not always have. The laundry rooms often bear the brunt of this time crunch. Students who chose to leave their laundry in both the washer and dryer for multiple days cause problems for fellow boarders as well as cleaning staff.

Proctor Teagan Duffy lives in Mem East, and has been horrified by the laundry situation recently.

“We have had one or two instances where someone just forgot to take their clothing out of the washer, so someone took it out and put it on top of the machine to use the washer,” she said. “The clothing was just sitting wet on the washer for like three days. At that point mold began to grow and the room had a disgusting odor.”

As the year progresses, I plead with Williston students to start being more considerate within the dorms. Living in communal spaces is not always the easiest, and even the smallest things can make a difference.

It is completely understandable that within the dorms there are people who run on very different schedules. This leaves some people waking up extremely early and other staying up late into the night. With this being said, people should always be considerate when playing music or being loud in the morning or at night.

“The volume in the dorm has been a big problem this year,” said Izzy Ireland, a senior proctor in Mem East. “People set early alarms and don’t wake up to them, so they ring all morning. Also, at night, people bang on each other’s doors after study hall and when people are trying to study more or sleep. It’s a huge disruption.”

And with this I will leave you with the wise words of Kate Garrity, long time dorm parent and Williston’s Assistant Dean of Students.

“At the end of the day, just be kind to yourself and those around you,” Garrity said. “Clean up after yourself, get consistent sleep, help others to feel comfortable in the dorm, and please oh please, stop putting liquids in the trash cans.”