Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 16, 2024

Library to remove soap dispensers from bathrooms

By PURE ELLE PHAN | April 1, 2024



The recent removal of soap from library bathrooms has mostly been met by indifference from the Hopkins student body.

APRIL FOOL’S: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fool’s edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting.

A recent initiative by the Student Government Association (SGA) pushed for the return of paper towels to the Brody Learning Commons. We are now able to efficiently dry our hands after washing them, and students are grateful for the increased ease of sanitation. 

However, that cleanliness was soon put in jeopardy. Bringing back paper towels cut into the budget allocated to library bathrooms. Citing the planned renovations to Milton S. Eisenhower (MSE) Library, the University informed SGA representatives that funds are drying up. Administration issued an ultimatum, and SGA faced a harrowing decision: the choice to fund either the upkeep of paper towels… or soap. 

The initiative has led to profound controversy among SGA. Weeks of discourse ensued, leading to deep divisions within the organization. Arguments for and against both options were made, and the conflict ended only after extensive negotiations. The importance of keeping a promise to the student body eventually overshadowed the health risks of removing soap from the library.

Effective April 1, 2024, the soap dispensers in Brody will no longer be available for use. Hopkins students have expressed mixed reactions to the change. 

“Wait, you guys have been using soap? I use the bathroom germs to boost my immunity, you know,” sophomore I.M. Gross said.

Others have agreed with SGA representatives that paper towels are more important than soap.

“I’m just glad I don’t have to wipe my hands on my scuba half-zip anymore. That was super problematic,“ McKayleigh-Grace-Catherine-Claire-Leanne-Marie-Ruth-Sophia-Rose-Elizabeth Smith said.

An investigation by reporters of The News-Letter found that 6% of female Hopkins students do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. This statistic increases to 45% for male students, and becomes as high as 78% among male Computer Science majors. 

“Soap, no soap, who cares,“ senior Birnt Knows-Hares said. “What we really need is some Febreze. There’s always someone blowing up the B-level bathrooms.”

At an SGA forum, Knows-Hares proposed that Hopkins students be banned from eating Chipotle until the situation improves. 

A professor from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Ty D. McClean, weighed in on the recent developments in an interview with The News-Letter.

“This decision represents a broader trend at the University of moving away from public health,” McClean said. “They’ve done away with the COVID vaccine requirement. They’re laying off Bloomberg researchers so they can hire more administrators. On my way to this interview, a student spit in my face. She said, ‘It’s giving antibodies.’ I don’t even know what that means.”

The SGA agenda for this week features a resolution to phase out toilet paper in the MSE bathrooms and reallocate these funds toward salaries for SGA representatives. 

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