Paper towel dispenser change relieves frustration

By: Andrew Koerner – Columnist, Senior

I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say I love this university, I love the people and I love the opportunities that have presented themselves to me. Generally speaking, everything from my classes to the jobs I’ve held and communities I’ve been a part of have made me the person I am today, a person I am very happy to have become. I am blessed to have found a home in the University of Dayton.

One of my favorite things to do is simply walking through the neighborhood with friends. Even when I’m by myself I’m able to feel a spirit of community flow throughout each and every square inch of campus. I believe part of this is because I’ve been here for over four and a half years and have memories associated with almost everything I look at: KU fountain brings me back to my days working in Stuart, when I would run through it at midnight with my co-workers; the pine forest takes me back to heart to heart talks in the grotto; even a recycling bin near Baujan Field holds the epic memory of a 30-foot fade-away shot I made on the way to a soccer game.

There truly aren’t many things that spark up bad memories in me, but there has always been one thing that stirred a fire in my heart and an aneurism in my brain. They were all over campus and they were the absolute bane of my existence.  Every time I came in contact with one I became a worse version of myself and felt my personal well-being slip away. I am talking, of course, about Kimberly-Clark Professional paper towel dispensers.

As an engineering major, I find it hard to believe a simple lever could be executed so poorly. There was never a time after washing my hands that I had to pull that lever down less than a hundred times. And after all of that work there was still only the equivalent of a mere one and a half paper towels.

Periodically, in the Rec Plex especially, the paper towels would be off the mechanism and unable to be dispensed by the lever. This is probably because people were in a hurry and pulled too quickly. When I think about it, students and faculty are probably in a hurry 80 percent of the day, so that would explain why so many of these dispensers rarely had usable paper towels. The worst part about this was that there would often be a full roll waiting for you less than two inches away! It’s just sitting there, mocking you while your soaking wet hands wait for their savior, only to find the savior never appears. I often settled and used my pants as towels, which infuriated me.

Well, my soaking hands now have their savior in the form of a new campus-wide paper towel dispenser: Tork. I noticed the change for the first time in the men’s room of KU. I vividly remember letting out an audible cheer and a rather emphatic fist pump when it caught my eye. To me, that first paper towel pulled from the dispenser was like feeling a freshly mown lawn after the first week of spring: pure bliss. I had similar reactions when I noticed the new dispensers in Kettering Labs, Marianist Hall and the Rec Plex.

This made me realize even more how blessed my time has been at UD; when I reflect, the thing that has bothered me the most wasn’t a bad professor or feeling bored in my free time or having an undesirable place of living: It was a paper towel dispenser. There may be a scientific reasoning for this since our brains release a certain chemical during times of crisis to calm us down rather than during things that don’t really matter (example: road rage) but regardless I think we have it pretty good here. I’m in no hurry to get to the day where my daily commute consists of anything other than walking by all of these memories.

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