Things that must go: Cloth-towel dispensers

Of all human achievements, the modernization of the toilet has been one of the greatest. We have come a long way from the cold, unsanitary and uncomfortable days of old.

Except here on the U campus, where romantic sentiment for dirtier-days-gone-by seems to prevail.

Anybody who has attempted to wash his or her hands in the recent past (which I hope includes everyone) should have some idea of what I am talking about-those awful cloth-towel dispensers.

You go to the bathroom, take care of business, give your hands a good scrubbing and then head to a disappointing finale. You turn to see the unsightly evidence of a previous user who was coming down with a cold.

You do some self-psychotherapy and convince yourself there must be a clean spot. So you grab it by the edges and pull down, wait, pull some more down, wait, pull some more down… repeat… and then finally you have enough “clean” space to dry your hands.

The thing sits like 5-feet-high on the wall, and as you grab it, all the water on your hands trickles down your forearms. Attempting to dry yourself gets the drips off, but then saturates the cloth, so you pull more down, wait, pull more down… repeat… repeat. Realizing the thing just doesn’t get hands very dry, you give up and leave with moist hands. Even copies of The Chronicle are better to dry your hands on.

Let’s say you spill your Mountain Dew or drop some candy. There is no way to clean it up except to get toilet paper from the bathroom stall (if it isn’t occupied). However, the toilet paper disintegrates on contact. As a result, you just leave it for another student to haphazardly step on, or hope the janitor finds it and cleans it up.

The cloth machine states that misuse can result in serious injury or death. Death! I know of no one who was ever injured or killed from a paper-towel dispenser! Nor can the most vile stretch of my imagination conceive how paper-towel dispensers could be as dangerous as the killer cloth-dispensers that currently surround our campus.

I thought this was a center of academic safety!

I certainly don’t feel safe wondering if any trip to the rest room will be my last.

For those running for student government, here is a slogan: Paper Towels 2005!

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