Notice: Restroom Closed for . . .


Students have a difficult time finding an open restroom to use.

Veronica Kuo, Staff Writer

The restrooms have long been a hub for students during breaks in the school day. UHS’s campus has three restrooms open to students: located in the crossroads, in between the 200s and 300s, and between the 400s and 500s.

However, with the 2021-2022 school year, students have noticed a change in the restroom management.

In general, Principal Dr. Kevin Astor and Assistant Principal Mrs. Christine Haley emphasize that all restrooms should be unlocked during breaks and lunches. On the other hand, due to COVID-19 precautions and protocols, as over 2,200 students return to school, more periodic restroom cleanings cause restroom closures during class time.

University High School’s restrooms are the only restrooms in the district which have two entryways, and as such, students should check both entrances before moving on. “Restrooms are closed on one side to ensure greater safety,” Mrs. Haley said. Closing one side of the restrooms allows staff to monitor the students entering and exiting the buildings.

However, most students have noticed a lack of “Notice: Restrooms are Closed for Cleaning” signs on these closed restrooms. Even after checking both entrances, students may find themselves roaming to the other side of campus to finally find an open restroom.

Junior Sydney Quach has a similar story. After a psychology test, she exited the 1000s building in search of a restroom. She tried the two restrooms closer to the 1000s building, but ultimately had to go to the other side of campus, the crossroads, to use the restroom. “All of them were locked except the one in front of the theater, and that is so much time wasted,” Quach said.

Many students echo her dismay over wasted time and effort to find an available restroom. Though the inconvenience of increased frequency of restroom cleanings are part of the social contract we face as students living through a pandemic, the narrative does not seem to fit the entire story.

When Dr. Astor and Mrs. Haley were asked specifically about other factors, the social media trend “Devious Licks” came up. The trend started when a user posted a video on TikTok with a presumably stolen box of disposable masks on September 1, 2021, captioning the video, “A month into school . . . devious lick.” The trend encourages students to steal an item from school or to vandalize school property, and post it on Tik Tok. Stolen paper towel rolls or an entire stall vandalized with red paint are some instances of this trend rumored to have taken place.

“From time to time, we only open one restroom so we’re not worrying about all the other restrooms during classes since less people use the restrooms,” Dr. Astor explains. However, he does not see a necessarily strong correlation between the social media trends and student body behavior.

Mrs. Haley notes that students skipping class and the social media trend are both concerns facing our school restrooms. However, “social media is not playing as big of a part as us trying to go from pandemic life to normal school life,” she said.

Ultimately, the restrooms being locked comes down to a compromise between security, safety, and accessibility. Although inconvenient at times, the policy made by UHS administration has the best intentions and students may need to take some time to adjust.