Students asked to keep food, drink out of computer labs

Anna Wonderlich, Co-Editor

Teachers and faculty recently received an email from BV’s Technology Integration Specialist Mallory Joseph about keeping our computer labs clean. The email asked teachers to remind students about respecting the technology in the labs and to pick up after themselves.
She said eating and drinking in the labs have become recurring problems for her, the custodians and other students using the labs.
“Students are eating in the labs, but there’s supposed to be no food or drinks at all, except for water bottles,” she said. “The reason why, is because there’s obviously a lot of computers and technology in there, and it makes them dirty. Liquids in a computer lab are very dangerous because then things could break.”
Having food in the labs leaves a negative effect on the technology and the lab itself.
“There’s been food wrappers left in the lab from students eating in there,” she said. “The keyboards are getting sticky from people eating and then touching the computers, and things are getting damaged, obviously.”
Although the labs aren’t a teacher’s specific classroom, Joseph said students are held accountable for behaving and treating the equipment appropriately when their class visits the lab.
“When you go home you don’t expect your parents to pick up after yourself, so this should be the same way,” she said. “There’s one lab that’s had to have several mice replaced. I don’t know why they’re getting broken, but, for whatever reason, we’re not treating the technology with respect.”
Joseph said the lab rules might just seem like common sense, but they’re important to follow to keep the rooms in top condition.
She said she has seen a slight improvement in keeping the labs cleaner since she sent an email to the staff, but it still needs to be worked on. She said students helping other students to remember the computer lab rules can really help.
“I think that there just needs to be a constant reminder,” she said. “Students holding other students accountable helps a lot. When you have a friend that says, ‘Hey, you know you shouldn’t be eating in here. Let’s wait until we leave this classroom to eat,’ you might listen better than when a teacher is telling you. Because [the computer labs] are a different environment than when you’re in the classroom all day, it’s easy to forget because there are different rules.”
Joseph said it shouldn’t be the custodians’ responsibility to pick up what students could have easily thrown away.
“No janitors have made any comments, but I know janitors do a lot here, and they’re underappreciated for sure,” she said. “When they go into a lab and they have to pick up after the students, I know that they probably feel that it’s not their job. Students should just clean up after themselves.”