The Daily Illini

Bar bathroom cleanliness is in the toilet

The women's bathroom of Kam's, located on Daniel St. in Champaign, on Tuesday, Feb. 21st.

Jessica Jutzi

The women's bathroom of Kam's, located on Daniel St. in Champaign, on Tuesday, Feb. 21st.

By Andrea Flores, Staff Writer

By 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, Danny Moore and other staff at The Red Lion get to work cleaning the bar.

Saturday is a busy day for Red Lion employees. Doors open at 11 a.m. for block, a student tradition of spending all day at the bars, and stay open until 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

Although Red Lion does not typically estimate their number of bar patrons throughout the day, Moore, a sophomore in Business, always expects a large turnout.

With possibly thousands of students coming through the bar all day, it gets messy, especially in the bathrooms.

Saturday night around 10:15 p.m., Red Lion’s women’s bathroom illustrated this mess, with clogged sinks, puke-stained stalls, empty soap dispensers and missing toilet paper rolls.

While keeping the bar floor clean is their main job, Red Lion staff members will clean bathrooms if asked by patrons.

“We try to take care of it as quick as possible,” Moore said.

An hour later, the bathroom remained in the same state.

However, KAM’s has a different approach to keeping their bathrooms clean.

“We refill (toilet paper) at the end of the night,” said Wade Hinton, doorman at KAM’s. “We’re not going to keep going in the bathroom if people trash it.”

KAM’s estimates that about 750 patrons stop by on a Friday night.

At around 10 p.m., KAM’s women’s bathroom was in a similar state to Red Lion’s.

According to a study by PLOS Medicine, washing hands with soap decreases the chance for diarrhea by 3.2 percent, as compared to just washing hands with water.

Additionally, having many students in one place increases the chance for spreading germs, easily attained through not using toilet paper or soap after using the washroom, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Teresa Barnes, associate professor in Gender and Women’s Studies, said that the needs of women are often not prioritized in social settings.

“I think in general that the norms for (the bars) are not meant to cater to women’s bodies,” Barnes said.

Still, Maeve Selin, sophomore in Business and bartender at KAM’s, said she prefers her employer’s method of cleaning.

“I still feel kind of gross about (the bathroom),” Selin said. “But at the same time, all the people who refill are guys.”

She said it’s easier than having male staff members interrupt during the night and enter the women’s bathroom. Instead, Selin keeps hand sanitizer in her purse as an alternative for empty soap dispensers.

KAM’s and Red Lion did not wish to comment on this story.

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