Though many of the older buildings at UGA have been renovated over the years, there is one aspect that has remained neglected: bathrooms.
The newer buildings’ restrooms such as the MLC, Tate Student Center and Bolton Dining Commons, are spacious, equipped with modern technology and ventilated. This is not the case for some of the restrooms in the older buildings on campus.
Joe Brown Hall was built in 1932 as a dorm, and has since been remodeled into offices and classrooms. However, there are still shower fixtures in the upstairs girl’s restroom. The showers serve no purpose, and are collecting dust and dirt. The restroom is also poorly ventilated, making the air in the facility humid and stuffy.
Peabody Hall’s restrooms are located in the basement, and the windows are tiny and offer little lighting. Despite the amount of cleaning, the smell and humidity linger due to the location of the restrooms.
According to the CDC, mold and mildew are likely to build up in areas of poor ventilation. Mold and mildew can cause respiratory illnesses, and are dangerous for those with allergies.
“Sometimes the smell isn’t too pleasant even though the bathrooms are cleaned pretty regularly,” Hend Rasheed, a sophomore genetics major, said.
There are also equipment and structural problems in some restrooms. Park Hall asks people to flush the toilets with their hands rather than their feet to prevent water leakage from the handles.
Some restroom stalls, such as the ones in Gilbert Hall, are incredibly cramped, making it is hard to open and close the doors without bumping into the toilet, especially when students bring their backpacks into the stalls in order to keep an eye on their possessions.
“The bathrooms in the Biological Sciences Building are poorly designed because they’re small. Getting in and out is a little inefficient. If someone is coming out, you can’t go in at the same time and vice versa,” Hend said.
According to a study by NPR about, despite facilities being cleaned and sterilized completely of bacteria and microbes, if a bathroom is older and poorly ventilated, certain bacteria such as Staphylococcus will recolonize upon bathroom surfaces. Coming into contact with restrooms at UGA can expose people to bacteria that could potentially affect their health, due to the size of the rooms, stalls and age of the building,.
Many of the older buildings on North Campus haven’t been renovated since the early ‘70s. UGA should take the initiative to renovate these old restrooms to keep its students healthy and comfortable.