Photo credits: Katherine Snyder
By: Katherine Snyder
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – For the last couple of years, students have faced the problem of unsafe and unsanitary bathroom conditions in the Niagara University resident halls. After an op-ed from the Niagara Wire was published on Dec. 4, 2017, titled “Bathrooms gone haywire,” which exposed the truth about the horrible conditions of the bathrooms, it got students talking more and waiting for a change. On Feb. 8, Niagara Wire’s own Brigid Burns wrote an article about shower improvements to O’Shea and Clet residence halls. The articles included interviews with NU’s Provost, Dr. Timothy Ireland, and Director of Student Affairs, Jason Jakubowski.
Ireland stated, “if [the condition of the bathrooms] is a persistent theme, we have to listen.” Even though there were improvements made to these two buildings, the remaining residents halls’ bathrooms were still untouched. In this case, I wanted to do my own investigation, to really see if the statements made by Ireland and Jakubowski would follow further into the system of facilities.
Students have complained that the shower curtains are damaged, barely stay on the hooks and do not cover the entire shower causing the water to come out flooding the floors. On Monday Sept. 10, I submitted a service request to our facilities department in regards to the shower curtains of Seton Hall. My specific request was for the fourth floor on the side of rooms 401-415, as I am a resident on that end of the floor.
In submitting my request, I had stated, “the shower curtains on the wing of 401-415 in Seton Hall are ripped, damaged and are growing mold. They should all be replaced promptly for health and safety reasons.”
The rumor about sending service requests is that they either are never performed, or take a very long time to complete. However, this was not the case with the shower curtains. In a matter of hours that same day, I had received an email that said the request was accepted and scheduled. After several days of constant checking, I received another email on Thursday, Sept. 13 saying the service was completed and closed.
The big moment had come – I went to see if facilities followed through. Lo and behold, the shower curtains were in fact replaced with brand new ones. No rips, tears or mold. I have to say that I was very impressed by facility services’ prompt response to my request, as this only took three days to fulfill.
However, despite the glory that is our new curtains there are some concerns regarding the completion of the project. How come myself, a student, had to send an actual request to replace the curtains? They should be checked and maintained regularly by our housekeeping/cleaning staff to be on par with NU’s cleanliness standards. Plus, the curtains were only replaced on one side. I had checked the other wing after and theirs were still the same, gross curtains. Does this mean us as students have to speak up for our health and safety? In this case, it seems like we have to take initiative for our own concerns, rather than these concerns being controlled and maintained by our staff.