“Can I go to the bathroom?” senior Sofie Vinick asks her teacher. She grabs the pass and strolls down the hallway in the direction of the nearest hallway. As approaches the door a white sign blares in her face with the words OUT OF ORDER. She walks down the hallway towards the next bathroom just to reach the same fate, as she would with all but one bathroom on the floor. She sighs in relief and opens the door just to find that there’s a huge line of people waiting to use the bathroom as well.
Students walk into bathrooms during the day to relieve themselves just to find dirty surfaces, clogged toilets, or no working stalls. This is a major issue as it is something all people need to use, but there aren’t facilities to accommodate their needs. As students are at school from 7:45 until 2:30 on a typical day, their only option is to use the bathrooms inside the school, but what do they do when there aren’t any available? They’re forced to accommodate what they have, leading to poor personal hygiene and not wanting to use the bathroom at school, which can lead to additional problems. Vinick said, “[the bathrooms] are always dirty and the paper towel dispensers are often not filled, preventing students from properly cleansing themselves and not wanting to use the washroom.”
Students now have to spend time away from class trying to locate a bathroom that isn’t out of order or has a long line. This causes them to miss valuable class time, which isn’t an option for students in rapid-paced or difficult classes. It also contrasts with the new rules for the passes as they end up in hallways that don’t correspond with their color, and then get in trouble, or their teachers don’t like that they’re spending so much time away from class. Sophomore Ashvari Stanislaus said, “One of the restrooms by my chemistry class has been out of order for months, which has created lines to use the bathroom since there is only one available in that hallway.”
While students do agree that part of the problem is due to the school’s neglect, they believe the building service workers aren’t the ones to be blamed. There aren’t enough people working to accommodate the school’s need for cleanliness and replenishment of facilities, as they are trying to fix other things that aren’t working in the school, and don’t have enough time or resources to fill its needs. Junior Divya Subramanian, “We need to advocate for more funds and increase staffing for building services so they can have enough support to maintain our school’s cleanliness. The deeper reason behind this issue is the understaffing and the lack of support that the building services team receives.”