Students clean house before parents arrive

By Mika Mandelbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 14, 2005

Without Mom around to clean up, a student's room can get pretty dirty, but whether they live in the dorms, fraternities, apartments or houses, UA students are racing to the mops and brooms to clean everything up before their parents can see how they really live.

"We're having a full-fledged roommate cleaning of the casa," said Ben Johnson, a political science junior who lives in a house off campus with three other men.

Johnson and his roommates will be asking some freshmen to come over to help clean the house before family weekend, Johnson said.

"We'll have them pick up all the cigarette butts outside on the rocks. There's about 5,000 of them, so it's going to take them forever," Johnson said. "The worst is going to be cleaning the bathrooms, though."

One of the grossest things lying around the house is a collection of dirty cups that the roommates spit into when chewing tobacco and sunflower seeds, Johnson said.

Johnson said his parents know about everything he does so he has nothing to hide, but he fears the awkward situation of his parents finding condoms sitting out in his room.

"I actually had a dream about that last week," he said.

Jeremy Bosworth, a political science senior, said he doesn't plan to clean before his parents arrive from California.

"It's not like (the house) is really dirty anyways, and I don't see a reason to get all clean-happy just cause my parents are coming," Bosworth said.

The grossest things in this house are the ants that keep turning up on the kitchen counter despite continuous efforts to clean them, Bosworth said.

The microwave is also dirty because no one has ever cleaned the inside of it, Bosworth said.

"It's just the usual food splatter, but after a while, it doesn't look so usual anymore," he said. "Oh, and we have a stripper pole in our house, but that's only gross to some people, and it's not getting put away. That's permanent."

Jessie Downey, a Judaic studies junior, said she plans to clean up her studio apartment before her dad comes to town.

"I'm not so diligent about getting dishes washed or even into the dishwasher," Downey said. "My kitchen is definitely the area that needs the most work."

Downey said she also plans to put things away that she doesn't want her dad to see.

"A friend of mine drew a dirty little picture for me and it's on my fridge, so I'll probably take that down," she said.

Students in the residence halls are also scrambling to clean up because for most of them, this is their first family weekend.

"I'll probably clean my room up a little bit to make it look innocent," said Allison Goldberg, an undeclared freshman who lives in Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall.

Goldberg said she plans to pick up dirty clothes, hide bottles of alcohol and take down pictures of parties and other things she would not want her parents to see.

"I wouldn't want them seeing a drink in my hand in pictures," she said.

Fraternity and sorority members said they also worked hard this week to clean in preparation for family weekend events.

Alpha Epsilon Phi members cleaned the sorority house because they are hosting a barbecue tomorrow and a brunch at their house on Sunday for all members and their families, said Rebecca Gerrick, a psychology sophomore.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon cleaned the house courtyard to get ready for the tailgate party they will host before tomorrow's football game.

But students are also preparing for their parents' arrival in ways other than cleaning.

Bosworth said he needs to buy football tickets and make dinner reservations for the weekend, and Johnson said he is going to the store to buy a lot of food for a roommate and family dinner at his house.

Gerrick said she plans to use this week to get a head start on homework before her dad comes.

"I am getting all my work out of the way, and I am going to study before he comes so I can spend time with him and have fun instead of worrying about school," she said.