The Plight of 1-Ply Toilet Paper

There is a special connection from the moment you enter the restroom to the time you leave. For a brief or long time, you are at one with the partitions that create your little stainless steel and porcelain world. Sometimes the special time you share is destroyed by many factors: people on cell phones, a janitor cleaning, or realizing there is no toilet paper. At the University of San Francisco, my special time is destroyed by the 1-ply toilet paper that we are forced to use.

Restroom time is a time of reflection, contemplation, and preparation for what lies ahead. I’m always able to forget about the quiz could have done better on, or a mental review of Business 304. It’s a rather good feeling, one I hope everyone, students and professors alike, are able to enjoy and cherish.

As I’ve mentioned, it should be a special time. Then, as I reach for the toilet paper, all the positive thoughts leave my head as my fingertips touch what I’m about to use. It is a grainy, rough, barely existent paper substance that crumbles the moment it starts to do what it is created to do. The toilet paper has no matter to it-I’m surprised that it retains any form once it is unrolled.

At home, I’m a 4-plyer, and if I ate something that presents a challenge, I’ll fold the toilet paper again to make a pillow-like softness that is 8-ply. But that is used only in the most difficult and serious situations, like after a great Indian buffet dinner. I may have sneaked into my baby’s stash of wipes at times, but only when there was no other alternative.

There is an alternative at USF though. It is as easy as adding a ‘1’ to the current problem—we go 2-ply. I’m unsure of how it is in the women’s restroom, but in the men’s, there are no seat covers. Thus we are forced to make our own seat cover of 1-ply toilet paper, which means there’s really no seat cover at all. The time it takes to create the barrier between myself and the toilet seat adds up quickly. The toilet paper is so light that any quick movement blows the cover off, forcing you to start over. Then you have to add the time it takes to prepare the toilet paper for use, folding and folding and folding. Hours of your life can be lost.

I am proposing an assessment for all students to help cover the costs of upgrading our toilet paper. From the USF website, the total enrollment of 2010 was 9,585. If every student gives $10, then that should be enough to get USF on the right track with its toilet paper situation.

USF is on the edge of becoming one of the top 50 business schools in the United States. We cannot let something like 1-ply toilet paper stop us. We must remain strong, reliant and uniform to bring change, unlike 1-ply toilet paper.

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