The case of the missing vacuum

As you all may have noticed by now, the communal vacuums in the dorms have mysteriously vanished. While this is a tragic loss, and one worthy of our 2020 master list of disasters, we all know it was necessary because… Wait, why was it necessary again?
Let’s go back to the move-in email sent out by Res Life on Sept. 8, shall we? Surely that will provide us an answer.
Ah, here’s the line, slipped in right at the end of the email: “Communal vacuums will not be available during this academic year—consider bringing your own personal cleaning supplies for your room.” Ahh I see. They “will not be available.” Yes, that really clears everything up.
Well, since the vacuum deficiency appears unexplained, we are left to ponder what could possibly be behind it.
Let’s just assume for a second that COVID is the culprit. I know, why would I assume anything revolves around COVID, but bear with me. Vacuums are shared, right? And since sharing is unwise in the COVID era, that seems the most logical answer to why we longer have vacuums. Brooms, on the other hand, are immune to COVID, so we still get to have brooms. That’s right, the virus just slips right off them. The same must go for bathrooms, showers, sinks, and cleaning kit supplies. That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to sweep my rug.
COVID aside, another potential motive could be the school’s desire to teach us a lesson. After all that hullabaloo last year about students wanting vacuums that actually sucked up dirt instead of just making engine noises and pretending to suck up dirt, the school decided to take away vacuums completely, just to show us how lucky we are to have vacuums at all. Haha. Take that, you ungrateful students.
Well, it worked. I miss those boxy vacuums. Maybe they didn’t work so well, but when they were here, at least I could pretend I’d cleaned my room instead of facing the reality that my rug is still full of dirt.
So perhaps it was COVID, perhaps it was the administration teaching us a lesson, or maybe it was neither and the 2020 universe just decided to turn half the vacuums to dust and Res Life agonized so much over how to distribute them evenly that they just called it quits. Either way, we are now without vacuums. So, my dorm-dwelling friends, let’s look at our cleaning options this school year.
Our first option is to take Res Life’s advice and bring our own cleaning supplies. Perfect. I’ll just borrow the vacuum from back home; I’m sure my mom won’t miss it. Even if she does, we all know my 5×8 foot rug takes precedence over the carpet covering the entire living room at home. Of course, the other option would be to get one of those teeny tiny portable vacuums—it would only take me an hour to vacuum my rug with one of those.
However, if you are like me and you are unwilling to steal your parents’ vacuum or throw away forty dollars on a mini one, then you are doomed to spend this semester vacuumless. It’s okay, my stubborn friends, there is some good news: I found cheap magnifying glasses on Amazon. Now, we can at least crawl across our rugs on hands and knees and scour them for whatever delights we might find there. In the meantime, try not to dream about that sleek, silver, silent vacuum you hope to have one day if this college thing works out.
All that said, Gusties were definitely up to the task. My COVID-19 move-in experience was quick and efficient with minimal safety scares. The self-accountability of my fellow students in the way everyone followed the guidelines gave me a sense of security and hope that perhaps the Gustavus community can tackle this semester with only a few bumps and bruises along the way.
Despite the extra challenges this year, I am glad to be back. The only thing left to do now is watch the case count within the next two weeks with fingers crossed because, by then, we will know the true effect of the move-in policy.

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