Saving water, sharing stenches

Views 81 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 4 - 2 - 2014 | By: Megan Monroe


The campus-wide drive to save water due to the current drought conditions in Santa Barbara is having unforeseen negative consequences that must be remedied immediately. Though the idea is well-intentioned, the situation it has created on campus is intolerable. Not only is it creating a health hazard, it is causing significant, daily suffering for many students and staff.

The repulsive conditions caused by a collective turn-for-the-worse in personal hygiene have made Westmont a far more odorous and revolting campus. Since the competition to reduce water sponsored by the college administration has caused this increase in stench, I argue that the competition must be immediately canceled and students should shower and flush all unflushed toilets immediately. This water-conservation effort has gone too far.

The first problem caused by this campaign to save water has been referred to as the “Page Plague.” Though the odor of male sweat is usually known to permeate particular areas in Page hall, ever since the water-saving competition has begun the problem has dramatically worsened. Numerous students have reported that freshman males residing in Page have ceased showering, causing a constant odor that is sickening many.

According to one female first-year, who asked to be interviewed anonymously, “The problem in Page has gotten so bad that when my section mates and I go into the hallway, we have to wear nose plugs. Even though we’ve been trying to keep it out of our room by plugging the crack under the door with scarves and blankets, we just can’t stop it. Spraying Febreze doesn’t even help anymore.” This student’s plight is not unique. At least an entire hall of vulnerable freshman is suffering from the “Page Plague,” and it may have even spread to other dorms.

Students are not the only ones reporting intolerable conditions. Many faculty members are complaining that they can hardly bear to interact with students during office hours, and many have pleaded with their students to brush their teeth. In a misguided effort to save water, some students have decided to forgo dental hygiene, as well as other sanitary practices. “Our dorm was so behind in the conservation competition that we had to come up with creative ways to save even more water,” said a second-year from Armington.

“In our section meeting, we decided that brushing our teeth could be eliminated, as well as showering and flushing the toilets after using them. Our RA even promised us we could have a section date if we were able to reduce our suite’s weekly flushes to three or fewer.” Clearly, this emphasis on saving water has gotten out of control. Why should students endanger their own health and sanity, as well as the sanity of the staff and faculty, just to save a few extra gallons of water?

Students have been enticed by the allure of a mystery prize from Sodexo, promised to be beyond their wildest expectations. Rumors about the mystery prize have claimed that the prize is a jacuzzi to be installed in the winning dorm, a pony for every resident or a chocolate fondue dance party at President Beebe’s house. Westmont, you have been misled. Administrators, it is time to stop capitalizing on the gullibility of the student body and let them know the truth: the prize is being able to take food out of the DC for a week. Saving water may be a noble cause, but is it really worth widespread odor, unsanitary conditions and mass delusion?


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