New policy for bathroom access now in effect

Students are expected to leave phones in class

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Nicholas Rodecap

The bathrooms on the second floor of Loretto Hall will no longer be a social gathering place.

Nicholas Rodecap, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Starting Sept. 28, new rules are in effect for students to access restrooms during class. 

Interim dean of students Mr. Ed Freije ‘99 sent a school-wide email noting that it had come to his attention that there was what he called “destructive behavior” taking place in restrooms around campus. Freije said, “On numerous occasions, toilets have been (intentionally) clogged, there was a soap dispenser that was removed from the wall and there was some other graffiti and vandalism types of things. Most things were able to be remedied (at the school), but there was an occasion or two where we had to bring in (outside help) to fix what took place.”

Most incidents occurred in the various men’s restrooms around campus. 

Freije noted in the email that educators and administrators alike will be extra vigilant and paying close attention to the cameras outside of the restrooms. He said that, in the past, cameras have been a source of information for identifying potential culprits. “We encouraged educators to, rather than walk by, walk through (hallways near restrooms) and try to be extra vigilant.”

Freije emphasized that students should be accountable. “I think a lot of the ownership can and should fall on students,” he said. If they witness this behavior, Freije said they shouldn’t focus on getting people in trouble, but that students should stop it and try to be part of the solution rather than the problem. 

One part of Freije’s email that may have raised some eyebrows was the section that stated that students will be expected to leave their cell phones with the teacher in their classroom when they go to a restroom. “That was one of the things where we sat down and said, ‘what are some things we can control,’ and there aren’t a lot. One of the things we thought we could try to control is leaving the phone behind. Maybe it prevents people from going (to the restroom) out of boredom (and) from using their phones to take video or photos and post to social media,” he said.

Freije and other administrators are aware of a TikTok trend that involves “devious licks,” and he said that hasn’t really been a huge factor on campus. 

Freije said that he and other administrators expect that everyone will be on the same page with the new rules. “We’re hoping all the teachers will be on board with it and that they can have students leave phones behind. Hopefully, it’s a small step in the right direction,” he said. 

Freije emphasized that when students commit acts of vandalism and destroy school property, they are only hurting their own community here on the Hill. “This is our campus; this is your campus,” he said. “We try to maintain a beautiful campus, (and vandalism) is really just us hurting ourselves. We need to care for our property and for each other.”