By Alison Xin

I attended a public elementary and middle school before enrolling in Hathaway Brown. Though a private school certainly has its advantages over the public school system, bathroom upkeep is not one of them. I do not fault the janitorial staff here — they are but a few individuals, fighting a daily battle against a constant tide of filth. It is the responsibility of the entire student body to take arms in the struggle for hygiene befitting modern civilization.

Basically, I’m asking everybody to be a little less disgusting.


  1. For some inexplicable reason, none of the bathrooms in this school are equipped with effective ventilation. Thus, when it becomes necessary to, ah, air out the bathroom, opening the window may become necessary. Yes, even in the winter.
    1. Extension: Obviously, exercise common sense with this one. Is God currently unleashing the wrath of the heavens? Maybe keep the windows closed. (On second thought, there’s so much inexplicable water on the bathroom floors that it might not make a difference.)
  2. Occasionally, I find that an entire section of paper towels has been soaked through. I have no idea how this happens, but I figure that some students have been shoving their hands inside the paper towel dispensers rather than first removing the paper towels from their containers. Don’t do this.
  3. Speaking of improper paper towel use, a few sheets of paper go a long way. If you are simply drying your hands, there is no reason to take a 1-inch thick chunk from the dispenser. Perhaps HB students have never learned how to use towels?
    1. Extension: Yes, I understand paper towels are often overstuffed and thus difficult to remove. Instead of grabbing the towels and tearing down, either gently pull upward/sideways, or pinch the middle of the sheet during removal.
  4. Trash goes in the trash. Well, what happens when a trashcan fills up? Try looking around. More often than not, when I find that one trash can seems to be overflowing, a nearby trashcan is nearly empty.
  5. You can avoid tracking water over the counters by flicking your hands dry over the sink before reaching for soap or towels.
  6. If you end up using the last bit of toilet paper in the stall, please replace the roll before you leave. If there are no rolls left, check other stalls for errant toilet paper rolls.
    1. Extension: Surprisingly, many students have opted to simply place toilet paper on top of the dispenser or even, god forbid, on top of the toilet. Such behavior, I’ve concluded, can only stem from ignorance as to proper usage of the dispenser. Here’s how to replace toilet paper:
      1. Open the lid of the dispenser. Most dispensers’ lids swing open on a hinge, however, many dispensers have been damaged to the point where the lid is stuck open. This is fine. If, on the other hand, it appears that the lid is stuck on, first make sure that you are prying open the correct part. Ask a friend for assistance if you have trouble with identifying the lid.
      2. Slide out the bare cardboard roll. You may notice that the roll is held in place by what looks to be a metal bump. Do not panic. Simply push the bump and slide out the roll.
      3. Slide in the new toilet paper roll.
      4. Close the lid, if possible.


(You may be wondering why I didn’t address the issue of groups of students simultaneously going to the restroom. Gaggles of girls often block entrances and sinks, causing problems that range from slightly annoying to the-police-will-never-find-your-body-after-I’m-done-dealing-with-you infuriating. It’s because I think the situation is hopeless. Honestly, it’ll take more than a single snarky article to overturn a deeply entrenched cultural habit and stereotype. For now, let’s just focus on basic cleanliness.)