By: Alexa Hanan
Something caught students’ attention the week of August first: only one bathroom was left open. Students had to make the commute to another hallway in order to use the bathroom. We lamented why, why must we walk further? The answer: new hand dryers. Hand dryers were being installed in the bathrooms, some speculate for budget purposes and others for environmental purposes. Now there are multiple takes on this news; some are completely for it, others would rather not hassle with them, and some are indifferent.
“Why care about this issue?” you may ask. It ultimately affects your time. Time is fleeting; we constantly brood on how to control our time. What is the best way to use it? Things as simple as new hand dryers and how they affect us should be put into consideration. Passing periods are five minutes long, which seems like more than enough time to get from class to class seeing as to how we only have two hallways. But when you consider the time it takes to get from your class to your locker, then to the bathroom and still able to get to class on time, five minutes isn’t really all that long. The hand dryers can affect this by lengthening the amount of time spent in the bathroom. If you have to wait in line for the hand dryers and then wait for your hands to dry, you could risk being late. I have heard most people say that they would rather not mess with using them and just go without drying their hands, especially since the air from the dryers is cold making it take even longer to use them.
Most of the reactions that I have heard have been largely negative. People find them inconvenient and miss the comfort and availability of the paper towels. I have received a couple of quotes from students when asked their initial reaction, their general opinion, and how it has affected their daily routine at school. Isabel Bostick (Senior) said that “When I first heard about the switch, I was a little frustrated about it because they had to shut down a bathroom and the line doubled. I didn’t have any big issue with the switch, because I understand that it saves trees and money. My opinion though is that paper towels are more efficient; wiping your hands is faster than waiting for them to be dried, and you don’t have to worry about being late to class. Also, when you use paper towels your hands are more dry, and you don’t have to wipe the remaining water on your pants. The only effect it has had on my routine is that it takes longer to get out of the bathroom and go to class, as there is sometimes a line at the dryer and it isn’t as fast at drying.” Lindy Rader (Junior) said that “My initial reaction was pretty neutral. My general opinion is that I don’t like them, they take too long and blow out cold air. They affect my routine because I have to wait in line or I’ll just wipe my hands on my pants because it takes too long. On the bright side, however, they conserve paper.”
Overall I find the dryers to be inconvenient and tedious, they came with good intention but have the capability to harm students’ daily routine. We should continue to keep this and things like it in mind as we go through our day to become more in tune with ourselves and our schedule.