Get Your Facilities Ready, the Freshmen are Coming!

During the summer, colleges and universities hold multiple, mandatory orientations for incoming first-year undergraduates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 13.2 million college freshmen entered a four-year institution in 2015. Each class size can vary from less than 2,000 to over 9,000 individuals. Thus, each session may host at least a few hundred students with approximately half of their parents attending their own separate gathering. This leaves schools with several large groups to host and facilities managers with buildings, grounds, and restrooms to keep in top shape to accommodate and impress both parents and students.

During tours, crowds will be roaming the campus and will most likely to take the occasional “break.” Any of the bathrooms along the tour route can quickly become high traffic areas needing extra attention. To help maintain cleanliness, facility managers should:

  • Make sure that toilets and urinals have auto flush and sanitizer systems in both men’s and women’s rooms to ensure they are flushed and sanitized each time, decreasing unwelcome smells and keeping them clean.
  • Provide sanitary disposal units for used feminine hygiene products. These give women a place to throw out their used napkins and tampons, eliminating odor, and keeping them from being flushed and clogging pipes. Blocked plumbing is costly to fix, causes unsightly messes in toilets, and leaving some restrooms unable to be used.
  • Place urinal screens in the men’s room to eliminate urine splatter, stains, and splash-back on users.
  • Ensure the restrooms are inviting by installing air fresheners so that clean, pleasant scents are the only ones parents and students will notice.
  • Promote good hand washing and reduce the risk of cross contamination by providing no-touch auto faucets, soap dispensers, and hand dryers in the bathrooms.

While everyone is on their way from one building to the next, they will be touching the same doors and stair rails, and stopping to eat. Touching these common surfaces makes hand hygiene necessary in order to keep employees and visitors healthy. On average, viruses can spread to most common surfaces in as little as two hours. So, it is likely that someone will need to clean his/her hands while on the tour, but not have the chance to stop and use soap and water. For these inevitable cases, automatic hand sanitizer dispensers will be much appreciated.

At the end of the first day, parents will head home or to their hotel, and students will have time to kick back and socialize before going to bed. Most orientations last two or three days, so good sleep is essential, especially before creating class schedules. After walking around all day in the heat and sweating, showers will be necessary and could help students sleep more comfortably. Hair and body shampoo in each shower stall ensures that everyone is able to bathe and feels fresh. Most school identification pictures are taken during orientation too, so students may want the chance to wash up and get ready for the camera!

Freshmen orientation time is important, as undergraduates get a preview of what their lives will be like in their new home, while parents get the reassurance they need that their children are in a safe, caring place. As restrooms are a vital part of campus, the cleaner they are, the happier everyone will be.

If your school follows these tips, your staff will be grateful for the pristine facilities too. Scheduling regular service calls ensures that restrooms will always be ready for the next round of visitors.

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