o motivate HHS administration to repaint the — notably faded — green of the restroom walls on campus, students have turned to the ageless protest-method of high schoolers: vandalism.
Across campus, restroom patrons have dotted the walls of their stalls with everything from artwork to inspirational quotes to insults to comments on the quality of the bathrooms. The haze of graffiti has forced administration to repaint the stalls to cover up the vulgarity.
Although this has caused controversy, not to mention a wash of detentions, the vandalism is opening a necessary conversation about the quality of on-campus facilities.
Enticed by the new forest-green shade of many of the restroom stalls, the on-campus initiative Student Anarchy for Better Bathrooms (SABB) has begun discussing plans to expand to stealing sinks and breaking down stall doors.
“In some of the bathrooms, none of the faucets even work anyway,” SABB representative John Loo said. “The doors don’t lock either, so it’s not like we are making things any worse with these vandalisms.”
By all accounts, Loo and SABB compatrients may have the right idea. On-campus bathrooms have long existed in a state of semi-functional limbo. Since “when you gotta, go you gotta go,” Students weigh down latchless stall doors with everything from backpacks, to nearby friends, to the force of gravity and several carefully worded prayers.
The walls of non-repainted stalls reveal an unappealing history of inexplicable stains, white scratches and scrubbed-out graffiti. More to the point, most bathroom hand-dryers, though otherwise technical marvels, have sat inactive for months, when not for years.
Admittedly, the less-than-ideal state of the bathrooms is likely more an issue of communication than of simply administration failing to fix existing problems. There is no clear “complaint” box for when bathrooms are in need of repairs; students lack a clear medium to communicate their commode conundrums.
More to the point, the student bathrooms are only used by students. Since staff do not use student restrooms, staff is not aware of student restroom problems. While SABB’s methods are, admittedly, extreme, they provide a communication method that is both resoundingly clear and readily available to students.
So far, they have also proven effective. Across campus, several stalls have already been repainted to cover up the aggressive coat of graffiti covering them. The few that have not been are so heavily coated with graffiti that they look black anyway.
As a result, student morale has improved tremendously and lines for SABB treated stalls are out the (still lockless) stall door.