Opinion: The T.P. Detour

Ashley Riddle

Ashley Riddle

On the cover of Charmin’s Facebook page, the mama bear snuggles confidently next to her ultra soft toilet paper. Her name is Molly and she lives in the security of knowing that her toilet paper will not only always be there for her, but be of the highest quality. Molly doesn’t have very much in common with the girls in Hadley and Meyer halls, the upperclassmen dormitories at Southwestern Adventist University.

A quick glance at the average dorm room and you will see a couple of twin sized beds, never the same height, a couple of desks, covered with papers and empty water bottles, a sink, a mirror, and two curious doors that encourage the viewer to open and take a peek. One door leads to the wardrobe, and the other to the davenport. The davenport looks very similar to that of the half bath in most homes, a shower on one side, a toilet on the other. But this particular bathroom has papers up with instructions on how many sheets of toilet paper are appropriate to use. This davenport also has one measly roll of toilet paper drooping from the roll as though it hasn’t a friend in the world. This picture might prompt a viewer to question the injustice that is happening in two of the dorms around campus. Nonetheless, young women face the world with dignity and incredible strength, possessing a uncanny ability to move past the hard times and look into the future with hope, a hope that can see the day that they will be able to afford all the toilet paper their bottoms desire.

“Toilet paper is a necessity of life, and my needs were not met,” says Kara Banks, an avid toilet paper user.

The women in Hadley and Meyer started the year out living in unsanitary, sometimes uncomfortable conditions, for no other reason than they fact that they were too poor to buy their own toilet paper. At the start of the year, Ann Jobity, assistant dean of women, announced that they would be giving each girl one toilet paper roll per month, which initially was fine, until that toilet paper roll was gone in the first week.

“We were limited. The struggle was real,” says Lilianna Chapa, a resident of Meyer Hall, reflecting on those grim days.

Girls took an ultimately optimistic tone, celebrating the immense bravery and resilient spirit of the countless individuals who shared their plies with those in need, rather than focusing on the root of gender and lowerclassman inequality in various dormitories.

Brenna Sanchez reflects on the sacrifice she made for her roommate, “I made detours to the library, the student center, and if I was really desperate, the Gym. You never knew when you would come home and there would be no T.P.”

The first month ended with the RAs announcing that they would be giving each girl three rolls a month which to everyone’s amazement has been for the most part a sufficient amount.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Dean, my needs are now being met,” says Banks today.

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