Monday, February 05, 2007

At The Meeting School faculty members invite students to live with them in their homes for the school year, making houses out of our New England Farmhouses. Students don’t have free reign in faculty homes however, so they have a kitchen in Red House where they can prepare food for themselves between meals. This way faculty members and students have their own spaces and can be responsible for the mess, or cleanliness of it. The Red House kitchen has had its ups and downs over the years, and this year its had an impressive record for cleanliness compared to recent years. Two years ago a new system for cleaning was proposed by a student that would share the responsibility for cleaning evenly among the student body. The system worked well last year, and we’ve continued to use it this year. Each morning at opening we make sure yesterday’s cleaning happened, and then ask the next student on the list to clean it. The system was designed to have each student who uses the kitchen clean their dishes throughout the day knowing that they wouldn’t want to clean up everyone else’s dishes on their day to clean. In the past what happened was just the opposite, and the daily cleaner would end up cleaning piles of dishes and spending nearly two hours to complete the job. In order to find a solution to the problem, Student Meeting and Community Life Committee took up the topic at meetings. Community Meeting also had a discussion about taking responsibility for ourselves, and how our actions effect everyone around us. All of this has led to the Red House kitchen having its cleanest week ever. We celebrated how well things went, and are continuing to discuss possible systematic changes that could make it easier to keep the kitchen clean.

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