Janitors won’t take entire blame for dirty washrooms

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By Natalie Alcoba

Custodians say they have been getting flak for Ryerson’s dirty bathrooms ever since a group of students created a stir over the cleanliness of campus stalls.

A group of five nursing students looked into the state of school bathrooms for a class project.

Priscilla Brown, a night-time janitor who works in Kerr Hall, says supervisors have cracked down on daily checks of caretakers’ work. “They think we’re not doing our job,” said Brown, who’s been working at Ryerson for a year and a half.

But Gayle Sutton, manager of custodial services, says checks by supervisors—part of a quality assurance program—have been going on for nine months. She says the supervisors have recently started targeting washrooms more.

Sutton says janitors and washroom users are responsible for keeping the facilities clean.

“I’ve been into a bathroom that was just cleaned, and then 20 minutes later gone back and it looked like it hadn’t been touched [by the staff],” said Sutton.

Brown recounts stories of finding the men’s washroom next to security in Jorgenson hall littered with smashed urinals. She says students need to do their part too. “You wouldn’t do this at your home, why would you do this here?”

This week, the students submitted recommendations based on 90 interviews and two focus groups to Sutton, Komol Bhandari, assistant coordinator of the Women’s Centre, and Darren Cooney, RyeSAC’s health and safety commissioner.

One of the recommendations is a poster campaign aimed at women title Squatters’ Rights.

Felicia Alleyne, one of the students involved in the project, said females had more complaints about their washrooms than males. The posters will be a reminder to keep the facilities clean. “We’re all squatters and we should have respect for fellow squatters,” she said. Alleyne doesn’t expect the posters to be up until September.

The report also recommended the current cleaning schedule be changed so that more janitors are on duty during high volume hours.

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