Some people grew very concerned about the sanitation of bathrooms in my dorm in the 2010–11 school year. Rather than unproductively join the circular argument that my dorm-mates were having, I looked around and talked to people.

Plot of chance that a particular toilet has urine on it by day over four days, with an overall chance of two-thirds

I first interviewed some residents and observed the bathrooms in order to identify components of the concept of bathroom sanitation. I then performed more structured observations sent questionnaires to residents. I also reviewed emails related to bathroom sanitation.

Plot of acceptability ratings and prevalence of six bathroom sanitation issues indicating low acceptability and high incidence of urine on toilets

Findings suggest that urine on toilets is the most important issue to residents and that room trash in bathrooms is important to Facilities Management but not to residents. Bathrooms seemed dirtier in more public or more frequently used hallways within the building, such as the main hallways and the lower floors. Also, sex of the residents of a hallway seems related to whether urine and hair show up on toilet seats.

Plot of chance that a particular toilet has urine on it by floor and hallway

The identification of environmental factors influencing bathroom sanitation might be useful residents who are selecting a room in Risley for the coming year. Well that's obvious. More interestingly, the variation in sanitation across bathrooms may partially explain why people disagreed about the conditions of the bathrooms.

More importantly, I proposed some novel strategies for maintaining cleanliness; before reading the resulting paper, my dormmates' only approach was to yell at each other.

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