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The restrooms in Noyce

If you walk by the entrance to the loading dock this week, you’ll see a big sheet of yellow paper with thank you notes from the students to our Custodial Staff. As the notes suggest, our Custodial Staff are excellent. They work hard and they are nice people. I’m glad the students realize it too.

However, I also wish that the students would think about the Custodial Staff before they do the idiotic, offensive, and downright rude things that they do. I regularly walk into restrooms in which students have chosen to throw paper towels on the floor, rather than in the garbage can. At times, it may be that the garbage can is full [1]. But I’ve also seen paper towels clearly scattered elsewhere by someone [2] who thinks it’s a good idea to make someone else clean up after them [3].

Unfortunately, that is not the worst that our students do. A few weeks ago, someone decided to take all the free hygiene products in the men’s room [4] and shove them in the toilet. Doesn’t that sound like responsible behavior [5]?

One of the Custodial Staff with whom I regularly talk tells me that earlier this week, they had to use a broom to release the latch on a stall that someone had locked closed. Inside, they found that the walls were smeared with excrement. And, since it falls within their job responsibilities, they got to clean up that mess.

If self gov is dead, it’s students like that who killed it [6].

Like our students, I say thank you to our custodial staff. The institution would not run with out you; your positive attitude makes our campus a better place. I just wish that more students showed their gratitude with actions in addition to words.

[1] Our really smart students seem not to have figured out that you can use a clean paper towel to push down the stack in the can and make more room.

[2] Perhaps some jerk is a better word.

[3] When my joints don’t hurt too much, I pick up the paper towels.

[4] Grinnell, in acknowledging that your body may not match your identity, provides tampons and pads in some men’s rooms on campus.

[5] I am told that when a faculty member ranted about this to their class, members of the class took the responsibility to head to the restroom and clean up.

[6] The students who clean up after their peers help keep self-gov alive on life support.

Version 1.0 of 2017-05-04.