ASB presents petition to improve bathrooms at FUSD board meeting


This girl’s bathroom, located next to Room 94 and across from Room 106, sees frequent, daily usage from a multitude of students. (Picture: Sabrina Sun).

Sabrina Sun, Entertainment Editor

The Irvington ASB presented a petition campaigning for the improvement of Irvington’s bathrooms to the FUSD Board during a public board meeting on Jan. 11. ASB President senior Nickita Gupta, who was also involved in the installation of the automatic water fountains, created the petition. Supporters of the petition hope for several potential improvements: the installation of urinal dividers in the boys’ bathroom, an increase in the amount of various bathroom supplies like paper towels, and the addition of more fixtures like soap dispensers and mirrors.

The students first brought up the issue during an ASB public forum on Dec. 7, where many attendees voiced their opinions that the quality of Irvington’s bathrooms should be considered a primary issue. This is ASB’s first major petition and it has already drawn a notable, positive response from the student population. ASB members physically distributed the petition and managed to collect a total of 592 student signatures in the span of a single day.

The district board has already responded to the petition; FUSD superintendent James Morris sent a team to investigate the conditions of Irvington’s bathrooms. Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Grounds, Kevin Arthur, was a member of the team. Arthur and his fellow team members inspected Irvington’s bathrooms, noting down any missing or broken items and communicating with the school’s custodial staff and the Night Custodial Supervisor on how to proceed to address these faults.

“My job as Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Grounds is to ensure that our school facilities and grounds are kept in the best possible condition,” Arthur said. “I think it is great that students are reaching out on matters like this. We do have a work order system with which some of these issues could have been addressed ahead of time. ASB assured me that in the future requests like this will go to the site administration first, who can then let my department know about them.”

ASB members Junior Class Officer Rohith Dara and Audio/Tech Co-Commissioner junior Shanay Randeria spoke during the district meeting; the two explained the importance of bathrooms on a school campus and how the quality of the facilities was linked to the students’ well-being.

“Whether it be hygiene, comfort, health, or safety, all of these aspects can be affected positively by changing the bathroom. Fixing an issue like this can actually help improve the atmosphere at school, ” Dara said. “Also, this issue is important because students care about it a lot. In the one day that we collected signatures, people were genuinely excited when they were told what the petition was for. It shows that they really do care about this issue.”

The petition’s organizers and supporters are motivated not only by student outreach, but also by personal discontent. The two ASB speakers are dissatisfied by the current conditions, citing their own experiences with Irvington’s facilities.

“I think this [an improvement in the quality of the bathrooms] is a basic necessity for our school, and the ASB as a whole agrees that the conditions of our bathrooms go a long way towards our school ideals,” Randeria said. “Personally, I have been troubled every time our bathrooms don’t have the proper and necessary hygienic materials like soap and hand towels. I have also encountered many stalls without locks. Fortunately, the board has already taken action to fix this situation, checking each bathroom and seeing what needs to be fixed to make the bathrooms as comfortable as possible for our student body.”