Bathroom Passes EXPOSED

Matt Wichlen, THE EXPOSÉR

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Recently, the school has changed the way that students can leave class to use the bathroom. Instead of using our agenda book to sign a pass to the bathroom, we now must carry a bright orange laminated piece of paper that reads “BATHROOM PASS” and is followed by the room number, so everyone can know what room it corresponds to. According to administration, this was implemented so that there would be fewer kids wandering the hallway with the excuse of merely using the restroom. But that comes with the price of bringing a small piece of the bathroom, one of the most unsanitary places in our school, into each classroom.

Berg’s Pass

Polloway’s Pass

To see just how clean these passes are, I took bacterial samples of the passes from two classrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors (I didn’t use a sample from 1st floor because there are multiple bathrooms on this floor that students could choose to go to). In addition, I took four samples from different locations that the pass could possible be placed within the boys bathrooms; I did this on the upper 2 levels. After these samples were given time to grow, I analyzed the bacteria colonies and found the closest match to the bathroom pass was the bacteria found on the boy’s bathroom floor. Sadly, for the rooms that contain these passes, this means that most classrooms have the equivalent to a piece of the bathroom floor hanging in their room. So every time a student must go to the bathroom, any contact with the pass is the equivalent of rubbing your hands

across the boys, or girls bathroom floor.

Obviously, if your teacher cleans the pass, the bacteria won’t be nearly as bad. To prove this I took more petri samples of the pass and bathroom floors to be able to show that they’re still similar, and I also cleaned the pass with either an alcohol wipe or a 10% bleach solution (as seen below) to hopefully eliminate the bacteria found on the pass. I found that cleaning the pass greatly reduced the amount of bacteria. Big surprise right? But this goes to show that the only way to keep clear of the disgusting things growing in the bathroom would be to constantly clean each pass, or get rid of them entirely…which would be much easier in my opinion.

Berg’s Pass (Cleaned with Alcohol Wipes)

Polloway’s Pass (Cleaned with 10% bleach solution)

 

Now, until someone comes up with a better plan for the bathroom pass system, we as students will have to deal with it and use these passes. The best way to do this would be to minimize any contact with them at all. I recommend using a tissue from the classroom to grab the pass on the way to the bathroom, and use paper towel from the bathroom to carry it back. This allows you to not touch the pass at all, which is something I’m sure everyone wants to avoid.

Below you will be able to find the remaining samples from my short term experiment.

Floor 2 Boy’s Bathroom

Berg’s Pass

Barg’s pass after cleaning

Polloway’s Pass

Polloway’s pass after cleaning

Floor 2 Girl’s Bathroom

Control

Floor 3 Girl’s Bathroom

Floor 3 Boy’s Bathroom

Matt Wichlen, Author

Oh, I see you have stumbled upon my Staff Profile. As you can see by looking at my profile, I am Matt Wichlen. I am a soccer player for the school, and...

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