A growing frustration has been building in first-year students over the lack of soap and paper towels in residence halls. 

Reactions have shown this has been a problem on the Keene State College campus for years now.

“It’s extremely annoying that we have to bring our soap and towel to leave on the dirty sink,” Sandi Purcell, a first-year student currently living in Carle Hall, said.

Betsy Thompson / Equinox Staff

Betsy Thompson / Equinox Staff

Purcell continued, “It should come with the tuition.”

Currently, there is no soap or paper towels in any residential student bathroom, including suites, apartments and regular bathrooms, according to Purcell.

“In an environment where we all have to share the same bathroom, it is highly likely to contract diseases from other students,” Tyler Duffin said, a first-year student in Randall Hall.

He continued, “For a kid that has to pay out-of-state tuition, it is ridiculous that they will not provide such simple hygienic, sanitary means.”

Jim Carley, KSC’s associate director for facilities and business operations, talked about the lack of soap and paper towels in residential halls.

Carley said that the reasons for not having soap and paper towels involves “cost, being green and a lack of sanitation.”

While residents of dorms are upset by the lack of sanitary options in bathrooms, Carley said that by not providing soap and paper towels, the campus “keeps room rates down” and prevents sanitation problems caused by “having paper towels sitting in garbage cans.”

There is soap and paper towels in the lobbies of residential halls and in the public buildings on campus. Carley explained why there isn’t the same in the student bathrooms of the dorms.

Carley said that, “Students can bring their own [soap and towel]. If moms and dads come in, or someone comes to visit, they can’t bring their own soap and paper towels.”

Junior Sam Provencher talked about her experience in the residential halls, where she lived for two years.

“I always hated how there wasn’t any soap or paper towels,” Provencher said, “I’m such a germaphobe that I always had to carry my own soap everywhere. It was such a hassle.”

Provencher continued, “In some dorms, there are other options though.”

In place of soap and paper towels, Provencher said that hand sanitizer dispensers are installed in residence hall bathrooms, to which Carley said are “supposed to be checked every day.”

Cory Marshall, a first-year student that lives in Monadnock, said he feels that this is not the case.

“The hand sanitizer can run out for days, and there’s no way to clean my hands,” Marshall explained, “It’s obnoxious.” Provencher agreed.

“Whenever I would run out of my own soap, I’d rely on the hand sanitizer, but when that would run out I had no idea what to do,” Provencher said.

Nick Auger, a first-year student that lives in Randall Hall, said he believes that soap and paper could easily be provided for students.

“It wouldn’t be hard to install them,” Auger said. Auger continued, “In a bathroom of all places, you would expect to have soap and paper towels.”


Joseph Stallcop can be contacted at jstallcop@keene-equinox.com

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