Contention between Hale residents starts when one fails to be responsible for his or her own cleaning duties, according to students, but the conflict can be resolved through open communication.
Sharon Yeap, a sophomore from Malaysia majoring in biochemistry, shared, “I think students here should learn how to be open in telling others what they like or don’t like. Cultural differences can easily lead to miscommunication. No one can read your mind, so communication is the key.”
Sandy Ho, a senior from China majoring in finance, said, “I think the first step of keeping the Hale tidy is nothing else but to communicate. Before the semester officially starts, all the unit mates should sit together, talk about their responsibilities, and make an agreement on the dates they should clean the unit.”
Yeap continued, “Holding things in is bad. We should try to get to know our unit mates and be able to communicate freely. Being single and living in the Hales is preparation for our marriage because good a marriage requires communication skills.”
Instead of pointing fingers at those who miss their Hale cleaning duties, Ho explained she tries to understand others’ situations. “I understand school only gets harder and harder as the semester goes by. When problems arise, I try to understand others’ situations before I jump into conclusions.”
Heran Cui, a sophomore from China majoring in graphic design, said, “Whenever there is someone not fulfilling his duties, going to the RAs directly is not the way to solve it. I think we should inform and communicate with that person first, and if he is not changing over time, then the RAs should be involved.
“Often time, it’s not because they don’t want to do it but because they forget to do it after pushing it off for too long.” Cui recommended attending to duties immediately.
Ho stated communication between unit mates decreases gradually. “Usually we will have good communication in the first month, but then the efficiency of communication will decrease later on.”
“If someone doesn’t fulfill her duty–for example, in taking out the trash–we will message her on the group chat instead of doing it for her. Whoever forgets the duty and sees the group chat, she will take care of it immediately.”
Hale duties efficiency can be increased if the kitchen is organized, according to Yeap. “I actually brought up an idea where I suggested we should organize all of our cabinets in the kitchen. We put labels on the cabinets to make sure we put our kitchen stuff in the right place. We have a clean check sheet given by the RAs, and we strictly follow the Hale duties.”
Yeap shared her unit of six started a group chat in order to communicate with each other. “Unity helps unit members fulfill our duties. We know each other, we are friends, and then every Sunday we have a potluck together. If there is something bugging us regarding the hale duties, we always tell each other right away and in a nice way.”