University curbing spread of germs and bacteria

By on February 16, 2005

Using the restrooms in the Quinnipiac University Athletic Center not only just got easier, but now it is also much cleaner. The brand new automatic flushing toilets in the gym are just one way administrators are trying to improve the quality of health and wellness for students, faculty and visitors.

Automatic flushing toilets were installed into the lobby of the Athletic Center during Thanksgiving break in 2004. These toilets were installed to improve cleanliness and to serve as an attempt to be environmentally conscience and to save water.

The new toilets flush automatically to reduce the possibility of spreading germs. The automatic flushers also eliminate the need for people to touch the handle and potentially spread bacteria.

“I think the new toilets are definitely cleaner,” Jessica DeMers, sophomore communications major, said. “Anything they can do to limit germs is a huge improvement. I also think they should put them in the student center, because more people use those bathrooms than the ones in the gym.”

In recent months, sample-sized bottles of Purell Hand Sanitizer were handed out in the student center in another attempt to keep everyone clean and healthy. Administrators say that these efforts are the best they can do to keep people healthy this winter.

“Neither of these issues are a new venture for the university,” Manuel Carreiro, vice president and dean of students, said. “The provision for Purell came as a result of the insufficient flu shots available this year. It was a way of protecting the community in lieu of the shots for the flu season.”

Kathryn Maciaone, director of Student Health Services, was in charge of the push towards a healthier community this year due to this year’s lack of flu shots. She said that President John Lahey funds the flu clinic every year. This year, however, only 300 of the 1,500 vaccines that Maciaone ordered arrived last fall.

“We give the flu shots as a courtesy to students, but this year we had to go to the administration because we were only given 300,” Maciaone said. “We went to the resident and vice president of students and also the dean of Student Affairs, and everyone agreed that the shots should be reserved for high-risk students.”

Maciaone started the push towards a healthier community by arranging the Purell samples in the student center, installing Purell dispensers in three different locations around campus and designing posters to educate people about the flu and its prevention. The new Purell dispensers are in the health center, food services and the athletic center in the hope that people would clean and wash their hands more often.

“During a period of a few days in the student center, the Student Health Services staff handed out upwards of 6,000 Purell bottles to students, faculty and visitors,” Maciaone said.

The library would also be a good location to put a dispenser, and Maciaone wishes there could have been one more ordered for this location. The library is a high-traffic area, and it makes sense for people to be washing their hands after handling books and other resources.

“I think the toilets and the Purell samples are a great idea, especially since we weren’t able to get flu shots through the school this year,” DeMers said. “Every little bit helps.”

Student Health Services will present the 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair on April 6 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Alumni Hall. The theme of the day is “Tune in to Good Health.” There will be giveaways and tests available for students.


About Bethany Dionne