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A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare?

Some students at Harvard are up in arms over a student-run dorm cleaning service. The Crimson has called for a boycott:

Hiring someone to clean dorm rooms is a convenience, but it is also an obvious display of wealth that would establish a perceived, if unspoken, barrier between students of different economic means," the editorial said. "It's up to each one of us to ensure that our peers feel comfortable on campus, and if that means plugging in a vacuum every two weeks, then so be it."

I disagree. I worked two simultaneous jobs all through college and I would gladly have traded a few hours' wages for someone to come in and scrub the bathroom, clean the oven and wash the floors, even if it was only once a month. Now that I think about it, I don't remember ever doing any of those things, and I'm sure I didn't own a vaccum cleaner or a mop. Maybe I traded my way out with my roomates or maybe we lived in dirt. Either is entirely possible.

Nonetheless, DormAid's owners make the better argument:

Such arguments irk DormAid's progenitors, Michael Kopko and Dave Eisenberg, whose agility with business models and marketing strategies would impress any Sam Walton.

"There's so many ways in which on our campus you're able to display wealth in so much more obvious a fashion than having someone quietly clean your room," said Mr. Eisenberg, 20, a psychology major from Westfield, N.J.. He said class differences were evident in clothes, cars and entertainment, even in a campus laundry service that would wash, fold and place students' clothes in a "very noticeable" yellow bag.

"A minimum cleaning is $17.99 per roommate," said Mr. Kopko, 20, an economics major from Nyack, N.Y., adding that to avoid stratifying people, if one roommate does not want the service, DormAid will clean only the rooms of those who do. "How much does it cost to go to a movie with popcorn, buy a CD, buy a DVD?"

I especially don't see the difference between the campus laundry service and the dorm room cleaners. Not to mention that at 19, having a stranger fold my underwear would have been very creepy. Sounds to me like these complaining students have too much time on their hands. Maybe they should get a job.

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    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:31:50 AM EST
    Personally if you can't maintain your own laundry and clean up your own room, you have much bigger issues at stake than one of possibly instigating class warfare. I almost feel bad for the people who may use this service, who most certainly not are going to be those who work two jobs etc (if I had extra spending cash in college, cleaning services would be the last thing I would think of...the perennial favorite of beer, girls, or other assorted sundry items like Ramen Noodles would take its place). The only people who will use this service are the momma's boys and daddy's little princesses who have the wealth to do it. That said, while I understand the class exploitation concept the Crimson brings up, I would gladly jack these lazy bastards money in order to fold clothes. Want to pay me to do the crap you should have been able to do when you were 10? Fine enough by me.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:46:51 AM EST
    Class warfare race warfare, nothing new.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 03:42:29 AM EST
    Tis one of the funniest stories I have read in a while. Obvious questions for the Harvard Crimson: What about sturdents that eat out more than others because they can afford it? Sounds unfair to me. How about students who show up with new cars provided by mom and dad when other students have to walk?

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#4)
    by cp on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 04:08:45 AM EST
    methinks the crimson doth protest too much. clearly, these people have way too much time on their hands. perhaps, time better spent on their studies, as opposed to creating solutions for non-existent problems.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Andreas on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 04:55:47 AM EST
    It is interesting that Talkleft wastes more lines on that story than on certain other much more relevant topics. Talkleft wrote:
    Sounds to me like these complaining students have too much time on their hands. Maybe they should get a job.
    Until now I had heard or read such formulations only from far right-wing ignorants.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#6)
    by James DiBenedetto on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 05:25:06 AM EST
    "The only people who will use this service are the momma's boys and daddy's little princesses who have the wealth to do it." I can think of two non-wealthy kinds of people who would use that service: People so fed up with their disgusting and refusing-to-clean-up roommates that they shell out the $17.99/person to make a dent in the filth and to make a point. And slovenly guys (which, let's be honest, is most college guys) who want to impress a girl (or who already have girlfriends who refuse to come to dorm rooms filled with festering clothes, bacteriological experiments in the fridge, and dust bunnies the size of german shepherds).

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 05:56:42 AM EST
    There is no shame in janitorial or house cleaning work. I'm proud to say I've done some of the "dirty jobs". Why Harvard finds it shameful is beyond me. Professors don't clean their own classrooms, do they see this as class warfare?

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Lora on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 06:51:50 AM EST
    I am going to come out on the side of the Crimson on this one. First, there is nothing shameful about cleaning services. However, there is something shameful about an able-bodied college kid who can't be bothered to keep a minimum standard of decency in a dorm room. And, beyond differences in cars or clothing, there could well be a level of discomfort in sitting in a classroom next to someone whose hairs you just wiped out of the shower stall for a few bucks, just because they were too lazy to be bothered. Or someone you are sitting next to who just scrubbed your toilet because they are hurting for cash and you are a rich lazy snob. The differences are bad enough with the cars and the clothes. Why take them to the next level? The college should fine all dorm students who can't maintain a decent standard of cleanliness $50 per day. Let the money go into a scholarship fund for those in need. For those students with physical handicaps, a student-run service is a splendid idea. Note that the objection in the Crimson is to dorm rooms only; off-campus housing is an entirely different situation.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Andreas on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:07:50 AM EST
    I became suspicious because Talkleft did not provide a link to The Crimson. Here it is: Maid for Harvard? Students should be wary of Dormaidís divisive implications By THE CRIMSON STAFF, Published on Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:11:16 AM EST
    I don't know Lora...I agree it's lazy not to clean your own room, but are lots of things we all pay others to do out of laziness. Students could tailor their own clothes instead of buying clothes tailored by peasants making pennies an hour. They could cook their own meals instead of buying Big Macs cooked by a min. wage earner. Paying a dorm-cleaning service is a small slice of the pie. And your idea of fining uncleanliness sounds a little too totalitarian for my taste. We should all be free to be slobs if we so choose.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#11)
    by pigwiggle on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:15:03 AM EST
    I like Loraís idea. Letís ban the means by which some poor students can earn a buck. Whereís the compelling interest; a few students might feel uncomfortable. Feel good legislation, enforced with fines, effectively making the poor poorer. Itís like a fractal; from the top up or the bottom down it all looks the same to me.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#12)
    by pigwiggle on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:18:53 AM EST
    Bottom top, up down; um, top down, bottom up, thatís right.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:31:27 AM EST
    ...as opposed to creating solutions for non-existent problems.
    mountains from mole hills, uh better, mountains from a microscopic spec of whatever.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#14)
    by soccerdad on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:33:10 AM EST
    I have to say that this seems pretty dumb to me. America has never been and never will be a classless society. Should you tell the rich kids not to buy better computers, stereo systems and display them in their dorm room because someones feeling's might get hurt. Give me a break. The real issue from my perspective is that money is associated by almost everyone as an indicator of self-worth. The real problem is that belief, because it turns the rich into snobs and the poorer kids into victims. If your sense of selfworth is so tied to money that spending 17.99 on cleaning makes you feel superior or nor tbeing able to spend it makes you feel inferior you need a better value system. In some small way, the banning of this cleaning service would be reinforcing the concept that such differences in income do make a difference. Maybe people's time would be better spent talking about a more substantive value system.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:43:27 AM EST
    I think the idea is great. Let expand it to the Army,Navy,Air force,Summer Camps,Welfare Moms,Migrant Workers and of course our Jails and prisons! As Bushbag has said it,'s ALL about jobs. Hell Cleaning ladies should be required to have cleaning ladies!

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Patrick on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:51:40 AM EST
    Soccerdad, Well said! Politics aside, if someone gets their sense of worth from a dollar sign, they need a new perspective.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:56:16 AM EST
    I think an important and relevant point that's being missed in the discussion is that it is apparently "student cleaners" who will be servicing other "student cleanees" and therefore the percieved threat is not of the divisiveness of wealth in general but among students attending the same classes together. That said - and my close familiarity with Harvard which is known to some regular posters acknowledged, I have to agree with the "doth protesting" comment. First of all, some students have always had to work (at the commissary, at the cleaners, which BTW is run by "HARVARD STUDENT AGENCIES" - emphasis on student) to earn spending and sometimes tuition money for college. Harvard is a bit of an exception in that the majority of admitted students are exceedingly well off and probably haven't had to do much housecleaning in their lives besides perhaps making their beds. I would argue that the Crimson's distaste for "student" dorm cleaners arises from their own issues with class (i.e., the maids employed by their parents are probably for the most part foreign immigrants - my Harvard bosses happens to be sans green card but I won't conject here). They see the work these cleaners do as so degrading, so outside of the scope of their lives that they are projecting their own loathing and elitism onto what they percieve as the embarassment and humiliation of showing up at their friends dorm room with a vacuum and some Pledge. Does anybody remember the movie "Soul Man"? A white guy takes tanning pills and grabs a scholarship meant for a black student - whom he meets working in the student commissary as she lost out on the scholarship. They fall in love, of course and he ends up forfeiting the scholarship for her and working in the commissary himself. I was lucky enough to bartend my way through college. There is an awkwardness to a group of your better off friends coming in and ordering from you. So what? That's college. I know a lot of doctors, lawyers and businesspersons who have been waiters, waitresses, movie attendents, Starbucks folks, etc. and, while it's easy enough to speak about the difficulty it presents I would bet most of those folks are better people for having seen and put up with what the "lumpenproletariat" spends it's life doing. One caveat, however, is the differences in academic success between those who can have their laundry done, their dorms cleaned and can eat takeout every night versus those who lose equal study time earning money to get through. This was certainly a factor in my case, but I survived without too much of a chip on my shoulder. Oh, and Laura of the Clean Dorm Police - I think Tom Delay needs your help with Terri Shiavo - go find someone elses life to butt into.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:58:31 AM EST
    Things must be really boring at Harvard if this is the kind of thing the editors of the student paper concern themselves with. I wonder if they'll be firing broadsides at H-Bomb next, because it too makes clear the difference between the haves and the have-nots.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:16:11 AM EST
    mfox...well said. I agree it's got more to do with the wealthy students guilt and hang-ups than that of concern for the students who earn their way by cleaning. My suggestion, if you feel guilty hiring someone to clean your room, the easy solution is to do it yourself. Don't deny a working class student his/her means to make ends meat over your hang ups about class.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:17:55 AM EST
    Cleaning ladies should be required to have cleaning ladies!
    odd as that sounds, my mom worked as a domestic, and we had a domestic come in three days a week. well actually not quite so odd, ever seen your mechanic's vehicle, or your gardner's (ok the guy who cuts your grass) lawn.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:18:28 AM EST
    There has always been a certain amount of embarassment by the elites over their money. That is one of the prime drivers of why some of the rich become leftists. They see they have done nothing to deserve their place in life, and then decide to give everyone else's money away to compensate. I would bet that if challenged on the fact that they are taking away someone's money, they would call for more aid to the worker. Which is, of course, giving away someone else's money. In my younger days they were called "limousine liberals." But I have to say this takes it to new heights.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:19:28 AM EST
    Kdog, Ditto. I mopped floors in the commons at night (for about $3.50/hr). I also had a slob for a roomate, and you're stuck for five months with these idiots. As long as Muffy doesn't go all Leona Helmsley, students should be able to earn some spending money. WOT

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:22:37 AM EST
    The shameful thing to me is someone going through their whole life without picking up a mop. It builds character.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Lora on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:26:07 AM EST
    Ok, here's a better quote from the Crimson article than in TalkLeft's post: (Thanks to Andreas for the link) "Dorm life is one of the few common experiences left that all students, regardless of class or background, have to endure with a measure of equality. The egalitarian nature of dorm life helps to foster a sense of collegiate camaraderie, an unadulterated respect for peers; it generates a level playing field that encourages learning between people of all upbringings." I agree. And I stand by my post. I am all for college kids earning money. Been there, did that, still do. Batending, waitressing, all these are much farther removed from bumping elbows in the dorm or in the classroom. But this type of personal service in a DORM ROOM fa chrissakes? Come on, even the laziest bums on campus can throw their dirty clothes in a laundry bag. If they can't wash their dishes, they should eat in the cafeteria. That's what it's there for, so busy (or lazy) college students don't have to cook. If they haven't learned to pick up after themselves by the time they get to college, it is high time they did. The fines I propose would be for Board of Health-type violations, not for a typical college student mess.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:36:05 AM EST
    Now Harvard is bringing back sizars? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sizar Ah well, didn't do Newton any real harm. And there's so much else to admire about the seventeenth century! The difference is, I suppose, that a sizar scheme would be run by the university, while this is a less-official system.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:50:20 AM EST
    Lora: Where exactly in the Harvard regulations does it state that dorm folks are on a level playing field? The only places that happens in college anywhere in the US is in the service acadamies. I guess they should hand out uniforms when new students show up at Harvard, make everyone eat at the cafeteria and hold daily room inspections so everyone is held equally.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:08:34 AM EST
    PPJim, Did what you wrote have anything to do with the topic? Or do you have some valid reason for regurgitating the latest insubstantial (and unsubstantiated) speculation from TownHall.com?

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:16:02 AM EST
    Actually PPJim, one could argue, that NO ONE has earned their money, atleast by the sense that you didn't somehow construct a business in the boonies after being being left for dead in the wild in a freak camping trip birth. Everyone here, despite what they think, only exists because of the graciousness of someone else in the first 4 or 5 years of their lives, and for a significant amount of support beyond that. Add in the schools they went to and were educated in, etc etc, and you have a fairly susbtantial debt to society whom raised you. Eve if you want to limit that to say your parents or elite institutions, someone somewhere, gave you something to get you where your at.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:19:39 AM EST
    Sorry - the 10:08 comment was me. The TownHall thing is Michael Barone arguing with himself about Bad Liberals with Trust Funds and Liberal Guilt, and winning the argument by virtue of his Mad Assertion Skillz. I don't think he cites a source anywhere at all, but I will admit I didn't read it carefully.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#30)
    by pigwiggle on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:31:21 AM EST
    ďThere is an awkwardness to a group of your better off friends coming in and ordering from you. So what? That's college.Ē I had a live in girlfriend for a bit while in college. To help with bills, rent, whatever, she cleaned house for one of our mutual friends who had millions from an inheritance. It only became awkward when his girlfriend broke up with him and wanted my girlfriend to quit her job; I donít know, I guess a show of solidarity? Work is good, hard work is better. I look back on my very long list of &hit jobs with a bit of nostalgia. They were certainly motivation to work hard to get a better job. I think my worst college job was cleaning industrial kitchens on graveyard (snow shovel, 5-gal garbage cans, hose, Ö). The folks that I worked with were certainly interesting; either new immigrants or meth addicts. I also painted a local hospitalís roof with reflective aluminum paint in the dead of summer. We worked at night as much as possible, but we couldnít avoid days completely. Two pair of sunglasses and spf 45 every hour; it wasnít enough. Nothing quite like sitting on a giant sheet of tinfoil at noon.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:58:27 AM EST
    Jim never received any assistance from anyone. He was raised by wolves and has made his way without any help for all this time. He doesn't need the help of "limo libs". And he won't need SS either.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 10:11:42 AM EST
    i agree with TL on this one, provided the cleaners are being paid fairly and treated as such, which it seems in this case they are. now, if harvies were bringing in workers and paying them a two bucks an hour, then we'd have a problem. also, TL, next time the left is confronted with cries of "class warfare!" from the right, let's please fire back something, anything insightful. like, "you're damn right it's class warfare! we feel like we're always at war with people like you who have no class! whose mothers never taught them the meanings of words like 'share' or 'enough'!" until we can address these cliches with the pointed and humorous passion they deserve, we're going to be buried alive under these cliches.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:06:45 AM EST
    Maybe it's my working class background, but for what its worth, I would be ashamed to pay someone to clean up after me, or care for my children. Something I'm not qualified to do, like fix my car or plumbing work, is one thing...but making beds and scrubbing toilets? Weird. I have a friend w/ a newborn, his wife doesn't work and they have a live-in nanny. I find that embarassing. Can't be bothered to care for your own kid? As I said, Weird.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:25:57 AM EST
    Ace...I don't agree w/ the Harvard students who are up in arms. See above, it's the guilt of the well-off students that's behind this, not a genuine concern about "class warfare". I was just sharing an opinion that I find it odd that some wealthy people don't clean up after themselves, or care for their own children. Don't you?

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#35)
    by roy on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:50:34 AM EST
    Maybe they can require the wealthier students to subsidize room-cleaning service for the poorer students. That way, the business benefits from a larger customer base, all students benefit from clean rooms, and class differences are de-emphasized. Later, more regulations can be applied to the cleaning service, to offset the monopoly created by the subsidizing. This will eliminate discrimination against customers based on race, disability, tidiness, and location. Off-campus students with a cleaning disability and allergy to chemical cleaners will enjoy the same benefits as the other students. This will make the business unprofitable. They will have to raise prices. Since poor students will consider it an entitlement by then, and rich students will have the means to find fairly-priced outside services, the university will have to raise fees to funnel more money to the cleaning service. Alternately, the privately-run service can be replaced with a less efficient university-run service.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Andreas on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    In one of the comments above we have someone from the right who obviously thinks that the article published by The Crimson amounts to class warfare from the left. This is not as ridiculous as it might sound. The right-wing fears the idea of social equality because it has revolutionary implications which can shatter the foundations of American society. It is unlikely that I would make a campaign arround the specific issue of such a cleaning service but I think that it is healthy if students find the idea of social equality attractive. Here are a few links dealing with that topic. Even the author of said comment (with the caricature of socialism) might learn a bit by visiting them: Investigating the foundations of equality God, Locke and Equality by Jeremy Waldron By Ann Talbot, 16 June 2003 Equality, the Rights of Man and the Birth of Socialism By David North, 24 October 1996 WSWS : The Struggle for Social Equality

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:20:51 PM EST
    Kdog, my wife (not working) has a bit of ppd so we have a nanny, and it is not something i share with all of my friends (stigma attached to ppd can be bad). So, I don't know if your friend has a similar situation but maybe they do and I would ask you to not to be so hard on em just in case.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:35:37 PM EST
    Point taken J...didn't think of that. I don't think it applies to my buddy, but you never know. I shouldn't be so quick to judge.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Lora on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:51:54 PM EST
    I have lived in a dorm where rich and poor alike learned to get along. In the dorm, it was a level playing field in terms of behavior. Money was no excuse. Whether you had big bucks or not, you still had to turn your stereo down at night (if you had one), not trash the common areas with your debris, and treat shared spaces and dorm mates with respect. It's true that those with bucks could furnish their rooms to a degree that those without bucks could not, but in terms of responsibilities and courtesies of living together, money didn't matter. If one student in a dorm is paid by another student to perform a chore that everyone should do for him- or her-self (which, in a dorm room, I happen to strongly believe), because one student has money and another student lacks, I believe this will exacerbate class differences and is not a good thing. I don't think it's terrible, but I don't think it's anything the college should be officially sanctioning. This has absolutely nothing to do with everyone marching to the same beat, or socialism, or clean dorm police, or draconic rules against a college kid making a buck! This is about what values a school like Harvard ought to be promoting, and I don't think that rich kids paying poor kids in the dorms to do menial labor that the rich kids are simply too lazy to do for themselves is anything that should have the official school sanction.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:56:41 PM EST
    Posted by: mfox on March 22, 2005 08:56 AM "...but I survived without too much of a chip on my shoulder." mfox, this is too funny for words.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 01:00:52 PM EST
    Lora: You can prove all the people cleaning the rooms are poor and the ones getting their rooms cleaned are rich? Maybe the cleaners want some extra money and the cleanees want to do something else and are willing to pay, rich or poor.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#42)
    by roy on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 01:23:08 PM EST
    When I lived in a dorm, most guys got their girlfriends to clean their rooms in exchange for pretending to be in love. Alternately, we lived in our own filth. Women were self-cleaning. If the Crimson gets its way, will the editor be the one to say to poor students who need $18 to buy a lab book "You're not allowed to do this, because it might make you feel bad."?

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 01:24:59 PM EST
    could it be some people are better, or more experienced at a task than others? while in the military i had a knack for spit shinning boots, ironing with military creases, and making racks so strike a coin bounces, albeit from experience, i made some nice change providing that expertise to others, and no significant amount of us were well off, it was a time/convenience thing. one person's dreaded chore is another personís quickie hustle. i'm leaning toward the guilt thing from the well off. personally got no problem cleaning your toilet, folding your clothes, and then competing with you in the academic arena. least we forget the ultimate reasons for attending an institution like harvard, upward mobility! what better way to show your commitment than taking on the dirty, little ugly task someone else doesn't want to do.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#44)
    by pigwiggle on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 01:43:05 PM EST
    ďThis is about what values a school like Harvard ought to be promoting, and I don't think that rich kids paying poor kids Ö ď In my world Harvard would go about the business of teaching would-be mathematicians math, would-be anthropologist about indigenous culture etc, would-be rodeo clowns how to get in that barrel; but most certainly leave values to parents, and friends. Raised by Harvard?!

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 02:20:52 PM EST
    Not a problem KDOG, most of my friends are not in the know about the ppd as we consider it mostly private, but a few of them did comment on us having a nanny whilst my lovely bride is not working. Anything i can do to make it easier and safer is well worth the investment and the "are you kiddin me" looks from some friends. lol

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 03:03:17 PM EST
    After reading the comments here, I went back to read the article. I was thinking of my campus apartments, not the dorm room I spent only freshman sophomore years in. We didn't have private bathrooms or showers back then, they were communal for the whole floor. And the school cleaned them. We had no kitchens, not even mini-refrigerators or tvs in our rooms, and microwaves hadn't been invented. We ate all meals in a communal dining room. So there wasn't much to clean. The first few paragraphs of the NYT article also are about students in apartments, not dorm rooms. I can see the equality argument more for freshman and those with only a dorm room than I can for those in apartments or suites with kitchens and baths. Andreas, thanks for the link to the Crimson article. I had just read the Times and they didn't have a link to it.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#47)
    by desertswine on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 03:16:23 PM EST
    and microwaves hadn't been invented.
    WHAT??? How?? Are you saying no Hot Pockets? Well, I guess it could be fun to live like Vikings.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#48)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 03:20:33 PM EST
    Back in college, my laundry was done at a local place with drop off service, usually by a classmate of mine who I had also gone to highschool with. Laundry was one of my responsibilites when I lived at home so it wasn't that I couldn't do it myself. I had a full time job (paint and plaster at an apartment complex), so time was at a premium. His folks had more than mine did but that dosen't say much. He took the job after he blew out his knee and lost his football scholarship. No awkwardness, no problems. This seems like a minor issue blown way out of proportion.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#49)
    by roy on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 03:28:01 PM EST
    This seems like a minor issue blown way out of proportion.
    Agreed, 100%. I think this issue caught on with bloggers because it's an excuse for people to disagree with each other very loudly, without worrying about anything genuinely important coming out of it.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 03:36:04 PM EST
    Thr right has no problem with social equality, Andreas. Read the Constitution; all have the same rights. The problem is the socialists' claim to be for ECONOMIC equality Social "equality" without economic equality means nothing. Sure, people are have the right to do many things in this country, but have effectively can't due to financial situations. Sure, a poor man is free to wear an Armani suit, but it doesn't eman he realistically can. People seem to forget this.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#51)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 06:41:14 PM EST
    Nice try, Doctor Ace, you just established why you are a chatterer--you tried to hijack the thread and change the conversation. Your posts and all that followed that are off topic are being deleted. If you do it again, you'll be banned from TalkLeft permanently.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:42:50 PM EST
    Dearest No Name - Are you playing dumb, or are you? The whole comment is about money and the have nots and the haves. BTW - Limo Liberals is a comment that is undoubtedly older than you, or TownHall. Only now days it is the Hollywood Elite and the Blue States Radical Lefties. Che - Actually I walked to school, barefoot, through a foot of snow, everyday, and the trip was up hill both ways.... I find it amazing how far you will reach to attack. Somewhere over in the archives you can find comments by me in support of our public schools, libraries and all those who helped a sharecropper's son escape the cotton patch. More to the point. I find it highly stupid to oppose someone making an honest buck doing honest work because you are embarassed by the presence of the "workers." I guess the lower classes should know to be silent and unseen. Out - It breaks my hand to type this... but, exactly.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:24:58 PM EST
    Oh yeah, here comes the good old specialization excuse. Some people are just natural at wiping the sh*t off other people's toilets, while others are just natural at making ten times as much money by coming up with witty advertising slogans. This is just natural.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#54)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 05:27:36 AM EST
    Read Greg - I don't know.. I do know I was convinced I could play major league baseball until I found out I couldn't hit a major league curve ball. Maybe I should have sued to get curve balls outlawed.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#55)
    by pigwiggle on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:28:17 AM EST
    TalkLeft- My last comment, now missing, was a reasoned and thoughtful response to Seanís last. Further, with a thread topic of class warfare I think discussion of social equality and economic justice are hardly off topic. Really, I canít see why it was taken down; I had a sweet point.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 02:45:43 PM EST
    Before you get all hot and bothered (too late), please remember that the Harvard Crimson is a student newspaper. It comes out daily, and the crim-eds have to fill it with something, even if that's naive liberal guilt - and even better if it involves tsk-tsking the grown-ups who run Harvard, none of whom edit the paper, since it's a separate, endowed corporation. Yawn.

    Re: A Dorm Cleaning Service as Class Warfare? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:48:18 PM EST
    lovable - Are you saying empty news colums breed nonsense? I agree.