It is certainly that time of the year again with the snow melting and finals at a rapid approach for all of us. Trying to balance the time of studying and the desire to go outside and bask in the sun is like taking on a second job. Soon enough though we’ll all get through it safe and sound, but of course, not without a few restroom breaks.
This being the final Latrine Dean article for the semester I figure that I would wrap the series up with the sentiment of legitimacy that may have gotten lost as we read about aesthetic, privacy and toilet paper appeal.
I didn’t realize back in November what an endeavor the Latrine Dean would turn out to be. More importantly, though, it was a learning experience and an eye opener.
Through the course of critiquing the restrooms that I did, it had dawned on me that we are in a luxurious position to even have a restroom critic. There are many places in this world, including in our very own state, that don’t have the luxury of plumbing and running water to facilitate public restrooms or even a bathroom in the household.
I am sure that there are numerous socio-political factors playing into the quality, or lack thereof, of our restrooms on the world scale, far too much to get into here, but there are people out there doing something about it.
The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is an organization that a reader of mine enlightened me with.
Founded in 2001, the WTO is a global non-profit organization “committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.” My personal favorite attribute they claim to have is to “eliminating the toilet taboo,” which is probably where the Latrine Dean articles serve a purpose on our main campus. You can read all about them on their website, www.worldtoilet.org.
What the WTO helps me realize is that having to dispose of our human waste goes beyond the simple ten minute break between classes and a flush. It is about the medium that we do so. If sanitation conditions are subpar or equipment is used and outdated we expose ourselves to the risk of illness.
For the restrooms that the Latrine Dean critiqued, I doubt that somebody getting ill would be a scenario as four out of five of them scored three stars or more. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything to worry about, however.
It is absolutely up to YOU to take care of our restrooms. If not for yourself, think about for the sake of the next person that has to use the restroom.
Simple aesthetics qualms that I ran into are easily avoidable. The next time you have an urge to draw a phallus on the stall wall, just think to yourself that it really isn’t all that funny and it damages the restroom that you, as a tuition paying student, will have to repay and fix.
Some sanitation issues may be out of the patron’s control. If you recall the critique of the Administrative Building’s atrium restroom there was mold found on the stall wall separating the urinals. I wouldn’t expect any patron to clean that mold between their classes, but that is an issue the University needs to take upon with their maintenance crew.
But simple sanitation issues can be reconciled on the patron’s behalf. If you drop a paper towel, pick it up. If a little water or soap splashes onto the counter while washing your hands, wipe it up. If you come across dysfunctional hardware, such as an overflowing or clogged toilet, tell somebody about it so it can be fixed as soon as possible.
Needless to say, restrooms are serious business when it comes to sanitation concerns.
Steve Lindamood, a professionally trained chef and someone who has worked in the culinary arts profession for numerous years, uses a good rule of thumb when determining the quality of a restaurant.
“If you want to know how clean the kitchen is take a look at their restrooms. If they can’t keep the restrooms clean than they can’t keep the kitchen clean.” He claims.
Think about this the next time you and your sweetheart decide to go out to dinner. My advice would be to choose wisely.
A debt of gratitude is in order for the TNL staff for their help and publishing of the Latrine Dean that enabled me to speak my peace about the restrooms here on main campus. A huge thank you goes to the wonderful Correspondent Kellie. She was a real asset in keeping the Latrine Dean focused and unbiased to only one side of the restroom. My final thoughts for you as we enter the crunch time of the semester:
If you have to, flush twice.