Something peculiar has been happening on campus recently—the shiny, chrome boxes beside the mirrors on the bathroom walls that produced a fine white powder are being replaced. It has been a quiet process, with hardly any publicity or student knowledge, but this small remodel is happening.
Even though almost all of the powdered soap dispensers on campus have been replaced, there are several old dispensers scattered around. Still, this year’s freshman class may well be the last group to experience the powder soap phenomenon.
How do students feel about the switch? With the best of both soapy worlds, which would they choose?
Peter Abney, a freshman, is happy about the change. “Using the powdered soap is a little bit like scrubbing my hands with sandpaper. I feel like a cat. I definitely prefer the liquid soap,” he said
Other students are slightly more reluctant to see the dry soap go. “I like the powdered soap,” says Bailey Heflin, another freshman.
“It’s exfoliating, and it’s probably the same soap that my dad used when he was here in the eighties, which is cool,” Heflin said.
Whether viewed as a nostalgic memory, irritant or link to the past, the change is here, and it has been coming for a while.
David Thompson, who was appointed head of Physical Plant Department in April, said, “I believe it [powdered soap] was one the most consistent [negative] comments provided by out-going graduates.”
But student input wasn’t the only factor leading up to the switch. By converting to new liquid soap dispensers with the JSU logo, Thompson hopes to leave a bigger aesthetic impression on students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Of course, there is always the issue of money. Although the long-term fiscal effects of these new soap dispensers won’t be known until the switch has been in place for one full budget year, the university predicts that it will, at worst, break even.
Ideally, it will come out ahead in the areas of cost, aesthetics and perception.
“Our Building Services and General Maintenance personnel have been working well together to implement the change,” adds Thompson.
“Both Doug Phillips, Building Services Supervisor, and Odell Christopher, General Maintenance Supervisor, have been spearheading the
effort. Once the decision was made to move forward with the change, our department has responded well as they always do. We are pleased the effort has been so well received. It is amazing how many positive comments we have received.”
Whether you’re team powder or team liquid, it’s important to remember the little things in life. “I’m just glad there’s soap in Crow, now!” said freshman Aaron Williams.
Happy hand washing, students!