Miskatonic University Press

Moderate Dinginess


York University, where I work, meets the international institutional cleanliness standard of Moderate Dinginess. I won’t show you pictures.

APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities (formerly the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, then “APPA: The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers”) is the body that sets these standards. Their documentation seems to be behind a subscription wall, and I don’t have access to Custodial Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities (where this seems to originate) in print, but searching for ‘moderate dinginess’ turns up lots of presentations from universities, and detailed information on the Asset Insights site that covers all five cleanliness categories, from Orderly Spotlessness down to Unkempt Neglect.

About Moderate Dinginess, it says:

  • Floors are swept or vacuumed clean, but are dull, dingy, and stained.
  • There is a noticeable buildup of dirt and/or floor finish in corners and along walls.
  • There is a dull path and/or obviously matted carpet in walking lanes.
  • Base molding is dull and dingy with streaks or splashes. All vertical and horizontal surfaces have conspicuous dust, dirt, smudges, fingerprints, and marks.
  • Lamp fixtures are dirty and some lamp (up to 5 percent) is burned out.
  • Trash containers have old trash and shavings. They are stained and marked.
  • Trash containers smell sour.

This accurately describes all of the libraries and almost all the other buildings on campus, exceptions being the brand new engineering building, the building where the president’s office is, and the building where marketing and fundraising are.

Meanwhile, improving the student experience is one of the key priorities of the university.