For years, the bathrooms at BMHS have been an issue. Doors that don’t lock, cracked toilet seats, toilet paper wads stuck to the ceiling, dented and dirty mirrors–you name it, we had it. Had it not been for one student, senior Class President Victoria McCaffrey, who brought this to the attention of our principal, many of these issues would remain unresolved.
How do you feel using the bathrooms here? It’s a question that the majority of the student body would respond negatively to.
I, myself, asked some students this very question. Senior Maryland Velazquez replied, “I feel nasty and disgusted because it always smells funny and is barely clean.” Junior Amanda Clark followed this response with a very passionate rant: “Look at the ceiling. They [the paper towels] have been on the ceiling since last year. Every mirror, how did they get like that!? It always stinks, they need to put some fresheners in here.”
It is evident that the dysfunctional bathrooms have annoyed many students which is why McCaffrey took action. While attending a School Governance Council meeting with parents, Hurwitz and faculty, McCaffrey brought to their attention problems with our bathrooms. She said they didn’t seem to be aware of it and so she decided to collect data to show them the damage that needed to be repaired.
“So, the next day [after the meeting] I went during my study hall to all of the bathrooms in the school. It was me and my notepad and pen. I would go into the bathroom and draw out what it looked like. I would go into each of the stalls and close it and lock it and if it didn’t lock I’d write it down. There were over fifty bathroom stalls that I went to,” McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey gave her list to Hurwitz who then passed it onto Maintenance. Most of the things on McCaffrey’s list have been changed, such as the replacement of the cracked toilet seats, the realignment and replacement of some, but not all locks, and the “Out of Order” stall in the girls bathroom by the lobby which is back in use. She went above and beyond to make much needed change happen.
However, not all of the issues are up to the school to fix. From toilet paper wads stuck to the ceiling to horrible things written on the walls of the stalls, there are lots of things that need change, but that change starts with us, the students.
When asked about what we students could do to improve the quality of the bathrooms here, senior Xuan Kusek said, “Respect the space, realize that the custodians try their hardest everyday to make this a good environment for all of us. The more you treat the bathrooms with respect, the better the custodians will feel about doing their job. If everyone does a little thing, like pick up a paper towel that’s on the floor, not sitting on the counters, or wiping the toilet seat after you go, it will have a huge impact on the overall quality.”
In agreement with Kusek, McCaffrey said, “You can’t make everything perfect, but you can try your best to make it better than what it was.”