Editor, Daily Nexus:
As I was coming back from dinner (or so the dining commons call it – but that’s another story) Tuesday, May 15, I noticed a guy who lives at the end of my hall kick the bathroom door and try unsuccessfully to move the door handle. For male (and, on one occasion, female) residents of the 1100s section of Santa Rosa, observing this event immediately leads to one conclusion: The bathroom has been closed again.
I went to the restroom to brush my teeth, and noticed this exact sign on the door:
Attention Residents of the 1100s:
This restroom has been vandalized a number of times over the past few weeks, therefore, this restroom will remain closed until the people responsible for the vandalism come forward and admit responsibility. If anyone has information regarding these incidents, please call the Resident Director at 893-8460.
Needless to say, I was as distraught as the fellow who struck the door. Several times during Winter and Spring Quarters, the restroom (as well as the female restroom on the first occasion) has been closed in response to vandalism perpetrated over that particular weekend. The infinite wisdom behind this was revealed to the residents during a hall meeting. Apparently, because the events did not occur in the restroom in the 2100s while the restroom in the 1100s was closed, the vandal was determined to live in the 1100s. Of course, it is impossible that the vandal could happen to be one of many weekend visitors, who does not have to face the consequences of his actions. It’s apparently also impossible that any vandal living in the 1100s would be intelligent enough to vandalize another bathroom so that he wouldn’t have to hike upstairs to use the restroom. The flawless logic of the Powers That Be has determined that one of the students in the 1100s is responsible, and therefore they will all be punished until they give up the culprit (because the people who live there are obviously all aware of who the vandal is, and didn’t turn him in the first few times the restroom was annoyingly closed).
I have several problems with this course of action. For one thing (and I’m currently researching the legality of this, by the way), there are no other male handicapped-accessible restrooms in that wing of Santa Rosa Hall. Even if a handicapped person were to make his way upstairs somehow, he couldn’t use the restroom because there are no handicapped stalls in the 2100s restroom. Secondly, there is something inherently wrong with the idea of collective punishment. Throughout history, the practice of collective punishment has done nothing but lead to rebellion, because the best way to piss people off is to punish them for something they didn’t do. Lastly, I consider this a violation of student rights. Given the amount of money students living on-campus pay, it is reasonable to have access to a restroom within reasonable distance. The Office of Residential Life apparently feels that it has overarching authority to decide who does and who does not deserve a restroom near his or her residence, and expects the students to submit to its authority. I have no intention to submit to this act of tyranny, and I hope those who read this article will contact the Office of Residential Life and the Resident Director of Santa Rosa Hall and voice their agreement.