By Hannah Rossen
We all know that college showers are nothing like home showers, what with the potential foot-bacteria, the subsequent necessity for flip-flops, and the puddles of water that flood the floor after seeping through the all-too-thin shower curtains. We understand that going to college involves some personal sacrifices in our normal quality of life, and that the cleanliness of the bathroom is one of them. What I don’t understand, however, is the inability of college-aged women to pick their own hair out of the shower drain. Sadly, it’s a problem that I’ve run into time and time again: I step into the shower, only to find a bundle of twisted-up hair sitting on top of the shower drain. What’s even better, sometimes people have considerately removed the hair from its initial position, instead electing to place it in a “better” spot, along the rim of the bathtub. All I can say is, really?
Bryn Mawr women are smart, competent, talented, honor-code-bound people that thrive in a small liberal-arts setting. Although there’s no specific rule about leaving the products of your comb in the shower, does there actually need to be? Do we not have the common courtesy to clean up after ourselves? If people think that it falls within the honor code to pick up someone else’s wet, tangled hair in order to avoid it washing onto your feet or simply having to look at it as you try to get clean, they would, in fact, be mistaken. As proof, take the opinions (this is an opinions article, after all) of a couple Bryn Mawr students that I talked to about this issue. When I asked one student to write down a phrase or a word that described her feelings about the hairballs in the shower, she promptly responded, “I don’t have a phrase for the nasty hair in the shower, it’s just nasty.” Her roommate echoed this sentiment, saying that she was forced to scoop the hair out of the shower drain with her sandal so that it wouldn’t get clogged, and to prevent the backwash of bathwater.
In a testament to the value our community places on mutual respect, there’s a sign on the inside side of the door to one of the Merion’s bathroom stalls. It reads, and I quote, “We’re all in a rush, but please don’t forget to flush.” What’s next? Signs in the showers that read, “We know you weren’t aware, but you need to start picking up your hair?” Seriously, even if you don’t live in Merion, you know that this is unacceptable behavior from people at a top liberal arts college who are studying to do great things. Plenary is coming up (February 19th, guys—come early, leave early), and if we trust one another enough to engage in self-governance, even though it’s complex, and, if you were at Fall Plenary, arduous, we should be able to trust one another enough to clean up after ourselves. So get it together, Bryn Mawr! Let’s prevent the hall unity in our dorms from getting too tangled.