By Reuven Pinnata | Staff Writer
A private bathroom at home can be quite a nice place. Many a thing that does not have to do with our digestive system takes place within the confines of a washroom’s porcelain—the reconstruction of our confidence as we look into the mirror, the rekindling of our hopes for a career as a vocalist, the Hamletian interior monologue we hold with our inner selves because we have nothing else to do. But this is why, perhaps, by nature, restrooms were never meant to be public. In its utmost sense, the use of public restrooms is purely utilitarian—who doesn’t enter a public restroom without hastening out as soon as one has done whatever it is one needs to do? Of course, there are clean public bathrooms, but the facilities at our college are less than bearable.
According to David Sandler, Public Information Officer at SCCC, this year’s budget for the college’s Custodial Services Department (CSD), encompassing wages, employee benefits, supplies, maintenance, and other custodial-related expenses for the entire campus, amounts to a total of $1.29 million. The CSD’s job is to administer custodial services to the entire campus, from day-and-night restroom cleaning to maintaining facilities. The CSD consists of 23 full-time staff and between 4 and 10 part-time hourly staff, depending on needs and staff availability. With an estimated total of 16,000 students attending each year (plus employees) and 1 million square feet of campus space to cover, they seem to have quite some work on their hands. This is without considering the fact that SCCC is a public building, which means that basically anyone has the right to enter and use its restrooms.
Some students responded to this reporter’s inquiries either unfavorably or indifferently. Therese Tran thinks that the restrooms are gross, especially the ones in the Science and Math building. She is also worried about the homeless people who frequent the bottom floor of the Broadway building. On the other hand, student Joe Stormer, thinks that our restrooms deserve a passing grade: they do not smell great, but they do not smell terrible either. He also thinks that having to touch the restroom handle in order to exit negates the act of hand-washing altogether since no hand sanitizer outside is available. “I would say that our bathrooms are as run-down-yet-functional as the rest of our campus’ facilities,” he concludes. Ben Iuro, meanwhile, epitomizes the sentiment I described earlier: he has a long-standing aversion to public restrooms and avoids them whenever he can.
However, you can actually do something when you find out that something is damaged or broken. Under the heading ‘Services’ in our school website, click ‘Facilities’ and then click the ‘Facilities Work Order’ link. It will take you to a new website where you can click ‘Work Request Entry’ to submit a work order to notify the school. However, please note that this is only for non-emergency work.
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue.