From clean and kempt to messy and disgusting, adjusting to dorm bathrooms can be a nasty business.

Everyone tells you sharing a bathroom in a dorm with 50-plus girls is going to be an adjustment, but what they don’t tell you is what exactly you’re adjusting to.

In James Hall, the third floor women's bathroom can be found in a variety of conditions. On any given day, you can find toothpaste all over the sinks, hair that doesn’t belong to you on the shower walls and toilet seats covered in substances that you really don’t care to look at for more than the time it takes you to decide that the stall is unusable.

Jenny Gurecky, a freshman studying meteorology, experienced something in James Hall that she said she would rather forget.  

“I live a few rooms down from the bathroom, and one Saturday, for several hours, if I left my room or opened up the door, I could hear a girl getting sick in the bathroom,” Gurecky said. “Let’s just say that stall was out of commission for the rest of the weekend.”

The bathroom used to be a place of privacy, a place where one could rightfully expect absolute and complete solitude. Now, the bathroom is huge. There is usually more than just one occupant in it, and it constantly smells of an unidentifiable odor.

Smells are something one really can’t expect to have any control over, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect your fellow residents to clean up after themselves. After all, we’re all adults here.

In an effort to combat this laziness, resident assistants on each floor of James Hall worked with their residents to come up with a list of rules for the bathroom as well as for the hall itself. The meeting to come up with those rules was “mandatory,” and as a result, a seemingly substantial number of the third floor female residents attended the gathering. However, RAs don’t have the means to force each and every one of their residents to show up. Thus, those who were present to make the rules weren’t necessarily invested in abiding by them.

Leah Nutter, a James Hall resident, said she didn't expect the hall’s communal bathroom to be a pristine environment. 

“I found two giant hairballs sitting in one of the showers on a Monday, and they were still there on Friday,” Nutter, a freshman studying media arts and studies, said. “I have also seen girls washing their hair in the sinks and not taking the time to clean up after themselves when they are finished.”

What it really boils down to is that mom and dad aren’t here anymore to clean up messes, and, while residents should be taking on that responsibility themselves, it is apparent that many of them are not. Instead, they are taking advantage of the friendly, hardworking and underappreciated Resident Custodial Services staff.

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What it really comes down to is that bathrooms at college are messy, gross, uncomfortable places, and freshmen should know what they’re getting into, but for the right reasons. If experienced college students and graduates let incoming freshmen know about the situation, they might be able to combat it.
This is a call-to-arms for all freshmen and, frankly, all college students. Be considerate of your dorm-mates and the custodial staff. Throw away your trash in the trash can. Wash your dishes in the designated dish sink. When hair comes off your head in the shower, don’t put it on the wall. Most importantly, please don’t decide to shave your unreasonably hairy legs on Friday night when you know the custodial staff doesn’t come until Monday.



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