By: Ethan Hughes

It’s almost the end of the year. While the stress of school is almost over, attention must now be given to getting packed up and moving to your home, to your summer internship, or to the Norris Pit. Many students pack all their belongings into trunks and leave them for the mice and roaches to enjoy in storage over the summer, while others dump everything in the lounge for others to pick through and decide what they want to take. After all, everyone wants a filled-out worksheet from an econ class or used tissues, and a pile in the lounge is the most efficient way to respectfully rehome your possessions that no longer bring you happiness. These are all good and well strategies of dealing with your smaller possessions—but how do you deal with your room?

As a Grinnellian, you want to make sure your room is taken care of in a responsible and minimally impactful way. Obviously, just throwing it away won’t do. Sure it doesn’t have as long of a decomposition rate of plastic, but it will still fill up the landfill for decades to come and release all the asbestos and lead in the walls, which will negatively impact the community. So simply tossing it in the garbage can isn’t a real option if you care about the planet and want to be a responsible steward of the land and our resources. If you are in a bind and have no other option, try to dispose of it as toxic materials (but not as electronic waste). While still bad it will mitigate the damage and hopefully avoid poisoning anyone. Overall: a 2/10 solution horrible for the environment and incredibly wasteful, but quick and dirty in a pinch. 

A better but still harmful disposal method is fire! As the English alternative rock band Sea Power said in their 2019 Disco Elysium soundtrack, “Burn Baby Burn.” While incredibly dangerous to the environment, it is quick and enjoyable to watch. Another downside is it will require careful cleanup afterward to make sure no large pieces are left after the blaze and precautions so the fire does not spread to any trees or grass surrounding the dorm or other buildings that remain in use. It is helpful in disposing of the entire dorm building, though, and helps all your fellow neighbors dispose of their dorms at the same time. It can be hard to get the fire big enough and hot enough to burn the entire dorm. The Grinnell Fire Department recommends that you use Molotov cocktails or ICBMs to fuel the fire initially. These can be acquired from GORP. Overall, it is harmful for the environment and the fire alarms and first year students who oversleep screaming can be a bit of a nuisance, but watching it burn is so much fun. Plus it is so cathartic to watch a place of misery go up in beautiful righteous flames. Score: 6/10.

The best solution, though, is recycling. You might not have a use for the dorm anymore, but that doesn’t mean no one does. Those bricks and mortar can be broken down and reused to create the dorms for next year, the lead and asbestos gathered up and used to reline the walls and the wood ground into pulp for next year’s syllabuses. Your posters of Albert Einstein as a Olympic parkour silver medalist can become modern art. The puke-stained linoleum can become the floor of a cathedral. Anything and everything can be recycled if you are creative enough. Let your imagination soar and explore the endless possibilities. 10/10 the best way to dispose of your dorm. 

The college expects all dorms to be properly disposed of by Thursday of finals week. Anyone whose dorm is not disposed of by this time, or whose dorm is disposed of in improper methods (like being left on the Bucksbaum roof), will be indentured into building the new dorms over summer. 

And to the people concerned about where to sleep Thursday night: screw you and your final free Friday, some of us have papers to write and exams to study for. Think about someone else for once, you greedy Grinnellian.