UCSB maintenance re-opened a bathroom in Santa Rosa Residence Hall after a week with the door locked in response to vandalism. A sign informed residents the bathroom would remain closed until the guilty party came forward to admit responsibility.
Although no one admitted to the vandalism, the bathroom was re-opened with a new sign Monday.
“The bathroom has been re-opened and will remain open as long as no more vandalism occurs,” the sign read. “It is up to you. It is your restroom.”
Santa Rosa Resident Assistant Waheed Baqai said vandalism has been a problem all year long.
“The paper towel dispensers had been ripped off, the seat covers had been ripped off, beer bottles were in the toilets, things had been set on fire and there was piss all over the floor,” Baqai said. “It was disgusting.”
After the most recent acts, which included damage to paper towel dispensers, mirrors and toilets, and small fires, the bathroom was closed, forcing residents to walk to other halls in the building. Freshman law and society major David Sasson said some male residents were forced to walk in towels through the women’s hall to get to a restroom.
“I need to walk upstairs just to take a piss and it sucks,” he said. “I brush my teeth and take out my contacts in the laundry room.”
“We have to go all the way upstairs to a [bathroom] that is crowded and it inconveniences us to go all the way up there,” freshman computer science major Heath Rosa said.
Sasson said residents should have known that the restroom was going to be closed if it was vandalized.
“It is a pain in the ass and it sucks,” Sasson said, “but it was bound to happen and I don’t think there is really another solution.”
Baqai said he thinks students should not have to put up with the locking of the restroom, but locking the room makes residents aware of the situation, and hopefully will encourage residents to confront those involved with the vandalism.
“The [staff] does not want to lock the restroom, residents should not have to deal with it, but it does make the residents upset about the situation and aware of it,” Baqai said.