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Davis, California

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Ask SHAWC

SHAWCing Tip #1: Closest Stall, Cleanest Stall

Warning: Reading The Aggie in the restroom? We suggest you move to the first stall.

Bathrooms are awkward places. For a place that makes our bodies vulnerable to bacteria, they’re awfully disgusting — but not in the ways you might think. Microbiologist Charles Gerba, after studying restrooms for over 20 years, claims that the most bugs, germs and bacteria in public bathrooms are not where you put your behind, but where you put your hands and whether you place your bag on the floor (Hint: don’t).

Based on his clinical experience, Gerba also claims that the first stall is the cleanest. A psychology study done by researchers at UC San Diego measured item positioning on choice selection in supermarkets, public bathrooms and standardized tests. To determine which bathroom stalls were used the most, they recorded how many rolls had to be replaced, and which rolls (they placed four in each stall) were replaced the most. In both cases the ends were used the least. Forty percent of the finished rolls came from the end stalls. It seems like people have a preference for the middle. We think it’s because the closest stalls are the most revealing and folks perceive the farthest stalls as the most used.

SHAWCers Favorite Bathrooms on Campus: Lower Freeborn, Dutton Hall (second & third floor), Hart Hall (second & third floor) and the ARC.

The ASUCD Student Health and Wellness Committee (SHAWC) aims to promote and address important health-related issues on campus. We serve as the liaison between ASUCD and campus health organizations, clubs and resources.  If you have SHAWCing suggestions, questions or tips,  please e-mail us at shawcucd@gmail.com and/or “like” our Facebook page. Remember, everybody poops.

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