It’s no secret to the student body that, in the past few weeks, Northwood’s restrooms have been out of handsoap. Last Friday, however, it was restocked around campus, posing the question: why was it ever gone in the first place?
Students around campus begin to look into it, eventually figuring out that soap was removed due to a “safety hazard.” They cited a recent event of vandalism in which a student poured soap onto the floors in an attempt to make someone else slip and potentially injure themselves.
As a result, the administration was hesitant to refill the dispensers, but the vandalism was not the only factor for a lack of soap.
“One of the challenges we had was the fact that the dispensers themselves were breaking and they are costly and not easy to fix. We wanted to solve the problem of the vandalism before investing in more dispensers,” said Vice Principal Eric Keith.
Since then, students such as junior Jessica Lin have taken it upon themselves to provide students with soap purchased with their own money.
“There wasn’t any soap in the downstairs 1000s girls bathroom for a long time,” said junior Jessica Lin. “I became really uncomfortable at the thought of having unclean hands during lunch that I decided to bring a few bottles of soap. I left it for everyone to use, but it ran out in just two days! It was a lot faster than I expected.”
While these kind gestures allowed students to properly wash their hands for a short period of time, it didn’t stop students and staff from questioning why this policy had to be implemented in the first place.
It speaks to a much larger issue of both the dangers of disregarding the rules, set in place for the safety of the students, and also the ineffectiveness of group punishment.
Ultimately, the administration pushed the ban on soap for the safety of the student body, who were the ones in the danger of getting hurt if the vandalism continued, and, though much of the student body was actively against the decision, it did help prevent further cases of vandalism. Furthermore, the incident was still breaking the rules, forcing administration to take some form of disciplinary action.
That being said, many students were questioning the the act of removing something as important as handsoap due to the choices made by certain individuals. Why should the entire student body feel the effects of one student’s decision?
These actions also magnified the student’s hygiene, as students need to be able to wash their hands before eating food. With the addition of the bathrooms that are stocked with soap being locked during lunch (such as the upstairs 1400s and the gym), students are unable to have a proper hygiene to eat their lunch.
In addition, empty soap containers and locked bathroom create an inconvenience for students during class. Not only does it take a long time walk to the bathrooms that have soap, but it also creates more unnecessary missed class time.
Though vandalism is a real issue, ultimately, there are better ways to solve the problem. It is the responsibility of everyone to maintain healthy and safe environment for the school.