Hunter in hot water? Not in the bathrooms

First floor, west building, women’s restroom.

Bathrooms in both the North and West building are experiencing problems with their tap water and students have been complaining all semester, claiming that the situation could be unhygienic. Not only is the water cold in temperature, the sinks also have faulty motion sensors.

“It sucks walking inside from being in the cold for so long only to wash my hands with ice cold water,” said Mariam Machabeli, a pre-med student. “Not only is it unpleasant it’s also not good for you since it doesn’t clean efficiently—trust me, I’d know. My mom is a doctor.”

According to many scientific studies, washing hands with cold water is not as effective as using hot or even lukewarm water. Studies recommend using warm water since soap lathers up better as opposed to using the opposite. The Food and Drug Administration states that although warmer waters don’t necessarily kill more bacteria, they do remove more oils in the hands that harbor it. Therefore, making cold waters less hygienic.

Some students claim the cold water is triggering medical related problems. Nikola Iberle, a psychology student, said “I have seasonal eczema and the cold water is really bad for my hands because it irritates them even more.”

Many doctors, such as Dr. Linda Wang, a pediatrician, suggest people with eczema wash their hands with warm water since both cold and hot water can irritate and trigger it.

In addition to the freezing water temperatures, the faucets themselves don’t work as expected. “I should point out that the pressure of the water is always very low in certain bathrooms,” says Machabeli. “And the motion sensors like to have their moments too. They certainly don’t work all the time.”

“I can’t even wash my hands because these sinks barely turn on,” said Aissatou Bah, a third-year media studies student.

When asked about the cold water, a Hunter College spokesperson said that the water heaters in the North Building are aging and in need of replacement. “They have been identified as a critical maintenance project,”he said.

As for the sensors, the spokesman said he was not aware of the problem and would ask the school’s facility team follow up to fix it.

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