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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Update on second-floor men's toilets

We have seen with increased frequency in the last few weeks these toilets being left in a very unhygienic condition. The seat, lid, floor, and walls have been soiled in one or more cubicles almost daily.

The problem was brought to my attention when I saw a post on the Hall's (unofficial) Facebook group. It is worth remembering that the Hall cannot guarantee that we will always see posts like this (the Hall Management team are not on Facebook, and most complaints are about facilities, which are the responsibility of management rather than me or the Senior Members). Please use our suggestion box - - to raise complaints or ideas with us. You can also visit the Hall Management office during working hours, or speak with me at an open office session or whenever you see me around the Hall. You may have noticed I am currently consulting on how you would like to send us feedback. Take the survey here:

Toilets, facilities, and cleaning are properly a matter for the Hall Management team and I, as Warden, do not have any direct control over this. However, this matter raises a number of welfare, cultural, medical, and possibly disciplinary issues: these all fall within my area of responsibility and expertise. So I have formulated some questions and considerations that need to be borne in mind here and I will be using these to help the Hall Management team fulfill their responsibility to keep the toilets safe and clean:

  • The soiling is with type 6 stool. This is not normal stool and could indicate a serious medical problem such as inflammatory bowel disease if it persists for as long as it has.
  • The pattern of soiling suggests the person is not using the toilet normally by sitting on the seat. This could be a cultural difference or concern about hygiene.
  • It is obvious to anyone that the toilet is being left in an unsatisfactory state. The person responsible is doing so either deliberately or because there are no facilities to clean up after himself.
  • This person may have developmental or psychological issues around toilet use, or some physical disability that makes it difficult to use a standard toilet normally.
  • If the problem persists despite interventions to address these hygiene, welfare, and medical matters, it becomes a disciplinary matter. We will need other users of these facilities to help us identify who is responsible.

I hope to be able to publicise a final, joined-up plan to deal with this situtation today or tomorrow, following a meeting with the Hall Manager at 3pm.

Please keep us informed about any change (or no change) in the situation.