Nasty students equals nasty restrooms

For some people, school can be a stressful, horrifying place, but Pierce College bathrooms definitely give a new meaning to long dreadful days.

Riding to school always sort of reminds me of leaving LAX after a trip out of town. You just got back from a six-hour vacation in Dreamland. You’re jet lagged (because your body and brain are still set to “Sleep Standard Time”) and, because you were in a rush, you forgot to use the restroom before leaving.

It’s like leaving LAX and having to pee. You realize you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405 (or in this case, a crowded campus) and the next few exits are in Inglewood.

What are you left to do? Try to hold it until you’re closer to a safer area or exit the freeway and put your safety at risk?

Although there are no gangs or drug deals (aside from an occasional Adderall transaction here and there), campus lavatories don’t always feel like the safest place to be, either.

I’ve experienced foul attacks on my nostrils, messy toilets, and floors decorated by suspicious-looking paper. This is, unfortunately, the reality for many students in campus toilets. People tend to leave them in a messy state as they know that they don’t need to clean them. However, someone else does have to clean them, so make sure you do clean up after yourself. It’s easy to do, yet some people don’t do it. This leads to the college having to Bulk buy commercial disposable latex gloves for your workplace and organisation to ensure these toilets are clean and sanitary for other students and members of the public to use. Hygiene is so important, so it’s vital that they are clean at all times.

The most notable third-world bathroom locations at Pierce include the Library, the Applied Technology building, and, ironically, around the Botanical Garden. Oh, I’m forgetting the Village. Truthfully, I don’t even find it necessary to elaborate on the state of these bathrooms as the appellation of the area pretty much speaks for itself. I find it fitting.

They almost remind me of the squat toilets I was subjected to when I visited this small place in the mountains of Algeria a few years ago. Almost. (There is nothing wrong with squat toilets by the way; they’re actually better for your health. It was just a bad experience.)

Anyway… The previously listed facilities are the most centered on the maze-like Pierce campus and its construction limbo.

Subsequently, they are also the easiest to access, and thus, have the most traffic.

Now you may wonder: “are there even any other bathrooms on campus?”

Well yes, there are: they’re hidden, poorly indicated, and probably completely out of your way, but they exist.

In fact, they’re almost magical because they’re surprisingly clean – depending on how anal-retentive you are (no pun intended, really).

To avoid the library restrooms, I prefer using the ones next door at the Business Office.

Students reported the ones at the Center for Sciences, Student Services, and in the back of the Great Hall as being immaculate as well. As convenient as these “new” spots may be, you still have to plan your schedule around them. What do faculty and staff members do when they need the loo? There is a simple answer to that: they have their own.

“I use faculty/staff bathrooms,” International Student Services Director and Counselor Abigail C. Sandico said. “They’re always clean.” Probably because a cleaning company such as Green Facilities are happy to come and clean these.

Sherry Rohbani, office assistant and adviser/DSO (International Student Services), urged students to call Plant Facilities to report these unfortunate-looking bathrooms. “Every time I see a mess, I call Plant Facilities,” Rohbani said. “I think it’s a bigger issue for students. They don’t know who to call and who to report it to.”

As advised, I called Plant Facilities to ask them about this crappy situation.

“Each bathroom is checked two to three times a day, depending on the workload, by one of the 25 custodians,” Operations Manager Randy Brooks said.

Every day from 4:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., between 11 and 16 custodians are spread around campus performing duties such as cleaning classrooms, emptying trashcans, and sanitizing bathrooms, according to Brooks. In the afternoon, between noon and 8:30 p.m., a maximum of only three custodians are scheduled, according to Brooks. This small amount is due to budgets cuts.

“If we only have three people scheduled and two call in sick– which is what happened on Friday– we are left with one custodian for the entire campus,” Brooks explained. ” So bathrooms don’t get detailed.”

“We do not work graveyard shifts,” he added. “It is difficult to get everything as clean as you want because there are people circulating [around campus] while you’re cleaning.”

Still, Brooks maintains there are procedures currently implemented to combat dirty restrooms on campus.

“If someone calls us to report a dirty bathroom, we will call a custodian, have him stop what he’s doing to go fix the issue right away,” he said.

If the faculty bathrooms are “always clean” and Plant Facilities staff spends equal amount of time on each restroom (considering size and amount of filth), how can it be blamed on bad work ethics?

With the amount of budget cuts we are facing, it is important for us to do our own part.

How often have you tried scoring a three-pointer with your paper towels? How often have you missed? How often have you actually picked that same piece of paper back up from the floor and thrown it in the trash?

We’ve all been there.

That may seem like a small detail, but with the amount of students on campus and few custodians to keep things tidy, small things like that accumulate pretty quickly.

The papers get wet, others step on it with their dirty shoes, it rips and spreads, etc.

Yes, they’re restrooms, and yes, they’re bound to get dirty, but think about it and ask yourself if you’re really making an effort to keep things clean.

Are you playing your part in Pierce College’s efforts to clean up after itself, or are you guilty as charged?

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