The Whys and Way Forward on the Poor State of the Faculty of Arts Toilets


Oyedokun Agnes Tioluwanimi.

The subpar state of the restrooms within the Faculty of Arts has been a persistent source of inconvenience for its students. Despite numerous discussions and inquiries into this matter, there has been little to no noticeable improvement, and students continue to grapple with these issues every semester. Students have had to endure various experiences, including water shortages and unclean restrooms in the mornings.

This situation prompts several questions: Should students shoulder the blame for these conditions? Are the cleaning staff failing to fulfil their responsibilities adequately? Why is there a lack of water in restrooms when it should be available? When can we expect an end to this distressing situation? Is it fair to place the blame solely on students for the unsanitary facilities? This piece aims to delve into these questions as many students within the Faculty have had to contend with unclean restrooms, and some have resorted to avoiding the toilets as well.

Without a doubt, clean and convenient restroom facilities are essential in an educational setting. Restrooms should offer comfort and cleanliness since they are frequented by students. However, the current state of these facilities falls far short of providing a conducive environment for learning. The unsanitary conditions not only reflect poorly on the institution but also raise concerns about the health of the students who use them. The most prominent issue is the uncleanliness that greets anyone entering these restrooms. Dirty, overflowing water, soiled floors, and the lingering odour of neglect are the unwelcome features awaiting visitors. A primary contributor to this uncleanliness is the inadequate maintenance of restroom facilities. When toilets, sinks, and floors are not routinely cleaned, they become breeding grounds for dirt, odours, and germs. Even when cleaning is performed, it can be challenging to sustain a clean state given the high volume of students using these facilities daily.

Speaking with AFAS Press, MaryJane Onuegbu, a student in the Faculty of Arts expressed her displeasure on this issue and the improper use of the restrooms by the students.

“When there is water, it is okay. Human beings are the ones who maintain properties but I have seen people who use the toilets without flushing even when there is water. The water closets are quite neat but the entrance to the restroom is always flooded with water, and then the buckets are also very bad. The cleaners are trying but I feel like they can still put in their best.”

Also reacting, Adeniyi John, a student of the Department of English said, “You can decipher what it looks like just by the odour that oozes out when you pass by. There is usually water on the floor, and as people go in with their footwear, there are deposits of sand and dirt. The odour is too bad.”

Also, Glory Adegeebo, a student of the Faculty of Education, who also frequents the Faculty toilet, stated, “Sometimes, the toilets are neat but most of the time, they are always very dirty. I had to come from the Faculty of Education to use the toilets at Arts because the ones at Education are not always open.”

There were also attempts to engage in conversations with two of the Faculty’s cleaners. According to them, the students were to be held responsible for the unsanitary condition of the restrooms due to their indifferent approach to cleanliness. The cleaners expressed their grievances, pointing out that some students showed a lack of consideration and respect for restroom facilities. Incidents of vandalism, careless littering, and improper waste disposal were identified as contributing factors to the restroom’s uncleanliness.

The cleaners recalled numerous instances where students entered the restrooms and recklessly spilt water, sometimes placing toilet brushes in the washbasin or neglecting to flush properly. They also disclosed distressing experiences of encountering menstrual blood and used sanitary pads.

One of the cleaners also mentioned the occasional shortages of cleaning supplies like Izal and toilet wash, and the provision of some toilet washes in the male restrooms in recent weeks, but not in the female restrooms.

However, she commended the previous student executives of the Faculty of Arts for their efforts in supplying buckets and other essentials during the last session. She expressed hope that the new executives would continue this practice, as there remained a shortage of toilet equipment in the restrooms. Both cleaners emphasized their dedication to maintaining cleanliness and requested the students’ cooperation in keeping the toilets clean. They believed that students, by showing empathy and adhering to proper restroom etiquette, could put an end to the problem of unclean toilets and the unpleasant odours emanating from them.

Furthermore, well-kept and sanitary restrooms play a crucial role in fostering a more productive and efficient academic environment. Students should not have to worry about the restroom conditions when the need arises for them to use it. At times, students are forced to return to their hostels, or some even opt to use the restrooms at Kenneth Dike Library due to the inadequate state of the Faculty restrooms. The situation regarding the unclean restrooms in the Faculty of Arts demands immediate attention and a reformative approach. This necessitates a comprehensive and collaborative effort involving students, faculty members, and the cleaning staff. While it remains the responsibility of the cleaning staff to ensure daily restroom maintenance, students should also be encouraged to do their part in maintaining cleanliness.

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