Closed restrooms lead to toilet troubles

New bathroom policy condenses the problem


photo or infographic by Emily Meachen

SORRY WE ARE CLOSED. Due to an effort to increase safety, bathrooms on the first and third floor are closed during classes.

Holding his pass, the student reaches for the door handle of the bathroom and tests the door, already knowing what awaits him. Nothing. Just like the others, he begins to shuffle toward the only bathrooms left. 

Though safety is a large concern and motivator behind the recent decisions regarding closing the bathrooms, the way it has been implemented has caused more problems than it has solved. 

One of the primary concerns with the new bathroom rules is overcrowding. Due to the size of the student body, bathrooms have always been crowded and the new rules have only worsened this issue. Bathrooms that once had two or three students in them now have far more, with up to ten or more students filling one bathroom. This results in cramped conditions and can cause students to wait longer to get back to class.

This overcrowding leads to another problem: the bathrooms are quickly becoming unsanitary. The bathroom infrastructure is more than twenty years old and unused to the amount of people passing through and using it. This leads to clogs and incidents where full toilets dump their contents on the floor. It doesn’t help that the supplies used to clean oneself, namely soap and paper towels, seem to always be completely used up.

When considering whether a bathroom is unsanitary, human waste and urine on the floor should be massive red flags.

— Jason Clark

When students are crammed together in these conditions, safety is unable to be maintained. Tensions rise when people feel cramped, and confrontation becomes more likely to happen. The smoke of dab pens can still be smelled in the remaining bathrooms, and students who would have otherwise left the bathroom for another one somewhere else in the school are unable to and must make the decision to either use the restroom and risk getting in trouble or not use it at all. This directly contrasts the original purpose of closing the bathrooms, which was to increase student safety and decrease misbehavior. 

Wanting a safe school for students is an excellent first step, but the way it is being handled is pushing those goals the wrong direction. Students should be kept safe, but they also deserve a place to use the restroom that is clean and uncrowded.