In times such as now, with the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, cleanliness is a top priority for college students.
To fight viruses, proper handwashing and cleanliness products must be used.
However, before now, paper towels and soap were not provided to students in bathrooms in the dormitories across campus unless they bought the products themselves.
“I live in The Living and Learning Commons (LLC) and there are no paper towels or soap in the bathrooms and it is very unhygienic,” stated student Rachel Leventoff.
Cleanliness and hygiene were not just a concern for Levintoff, but also for first-year Ben Burrell.
“All I could hear around my dorm was crazy nonstop coughing the entire night,” Burrell explained. “So, I was like, there’s got to be something that we can do to stop this.”
To combat this issue, Burrell posted a petition to Change.org expressing how the college should provide sanitary products to students in dormitories.
Burrell’s petition on Change.org is titled “Keene State Dorm Bathrooms are not equipped with proper hygienic needs to prevent illness.”
According to the description of the petition, Burrell explains how there needs to be basic necessities available to the students living in the dorms.
The description goes on to say: “Dorm life is gross. Inevitably, people live in all sorts of different ways, which makes it almost impossible for sicknesses to not spread. Living In such close proximity to one another, hygiene is very important.”
Leventoff expressed similar concerns when she realized that paper towels and soap are a necessity for students the first day she moved in, and she explained that not having soap or paper towels was a bad idea.
Efforts were made to get in contact with Director of Physical Plant Frank Mazzola, who, according to Associate Director for Facilities and Business Operations James Carley, “is spearheading the addition of soap and paper towels in the common baths,” but we did not receive a response.
One commenter on the petition agreed that this was important, especially with what is happening in the world right now. “Hygiene is very important. Especially in this time of this unknown Coronavirus!” the commenter stated.
Aside from Keene State, Burrell agrees that other colleges need to catch on to providing essential hygiene products for students in bathrooms. “The only reason that [the petition] is for Keene State is because that is the place I attend,” Burrell explained.
At the time of publishing this article, the petition has over 750 signatures.
Burrell is “blown away” at the number of signatures that the petition has received and is inspired by his efforts. “It made me feel really good because, you know, people noticed that I am doing something good for the community and it definitely sparked me into thinking that I should do this more often and make more community efforts like this,” Burrell stated.
Because of this petition, paper towels and soap are now provided to students residing in dorms at no extra cost to them.
On March 10, Burrell posted the victory message to the petition. “Thank you to all who supported this cause! I am so happy to announce, we’ve made a change! KSC will now provide paper towels and soap for all on-campus bathrooms! This is a huge step in keeping us healthy and happy as students here at KSC. Once again, Thank You!” the message said.
Connor Crawford can be contacted at