~ Academic Monkey
I teach twice a day in the same classroom. It's my first and last class of the day, three days a week. When I go in at 8am, everything is all put together, neat rows and tidy. But when I come back for my late afternoon class, the place is always destroyed. The chairs end up rearranged in some crazy haphazard circle-like horror, if the circle were drawn by the left hand of a right-handed person wearing a blindfold and fighting off a tiger.* Trash and wrappers are everywhere. The board is always filled with a variety of random words. I believe this is the work of an English teacher but I do not know who. Can I just request a university-wide policy that all faculty must leave the room in the condition they found it?
We all suffer from the colleague who relies a little too much on group work, or likes to hold class like everyone is sitting around a table in a bar. They scratch the floors moving around their desks. If they put the desks back, and they usually don't, the result is never as nice and neat as it would be if James, our very friendly janitor, were doing it.
(let's pause here and appreciate our more amazing janitorial staff)
So your proposal is a university-wide policy.
Are you freaking kidding me?
You need to handle this yourself. This is no secret mystery. This is not a delicate situation involving sexual harrassment or Christians feeling oppressed. You don't need the reach-around of a Chair, Dean, or BCC-ing the local newspaper.
You need to figure out who teaches between your classes and ask them nicely to re-adjust the room when they are done with it.
This can be done in a variety of ways. You can ask the secretary and administrative staff who teaches in that room all day. They can probably provide you with emails and times and offices.
(let's pause here and appreciate our more amazing administrative staff)
If things are a little too hectic in your place of work to obtain such a list, you could leave a discreet note in your classroom. Short, light, and direct.
"Hi! I teach here twice a day and I've noticed the room getting a bit strewn out by day's end. Could you help me keep it straight all day? I'd really appreciate it!"
But all this passive aggressive secretive policy implementation? This is a huge problem in human interactions at the work place. Stop imagining that you are being hugely wronged. Stop setting this up as an impossible inter-personal tension. Just be direct and polite. Smile a lot and head out.
At the very worst, nothing will change, and you'll just need to deal with it. It's not cancer. It's a messy room. And chances are, a note or an email will do the trick.
* this description about blindfolds and tigers comes verbatim from the meeting. smh