Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, August 09, 2022 — Houston, TX

Entitled students advocate for free toilet paper in bathrooms

Channing Wang/Thresher

By Krithika Shamanna     10/1/19 10:46pm

Students at Rice University are urging the administration to provide free and accessible toilet paper in all on-campus bathrooms. The students seem to think toilet paper is a human right and claim it is necessary for biological function. 

Allie Gonzalez, a junior from McPlunkett, said, “One time I forgot to buy enough toilet paper, and no one was around that I could ask! I had no idea what to do – I had no choice but to miss class.” 

Aaron Pathak, a sophomore from McPlunkett, added, “I don’t even go to the bathroom but when my friend was visiting me and needed toilet paper, I had no way to get some for them. I just wish there was toilet paper everywhere so it wouldn’t be so hard to find!” 

Critics have argued that entitled Gen Zers are taking things too far. Using the bathroom is a completely controllable process; maybe students need to stop going so much. The most widespread concern appears to be that if the administration provides free toilet paper, students may start stealing it from the bathrooms and hoard it in their rooms. What do real adults think? 

Delilah Lewis: “The administration provides free shuttles to Target on the weekends so students can buy toilet paper. Sure, there are a lot of extra taxes and it is expensive but at least they aren’t spending money on an Uber. How much more will these students ask for?”

Ron Setterfield: “If they forget to take a roll with them to the bathroom, they just have to stop pooping and go ask a friend or find their nearest RHA. It’s that easy. If the administration caves in now, students will expect even more efforts to increase accessibility at the school.” 

Ned Bigby: ”The truth is there is simply not enough support for such an initiative. These young students seem to think money grows on trees. We have to provide Tiff’s Treats for the masses; we don’t have enough money to install toilet paper holders AND provide free toilet paper.” 

Replace the word toilet paper with menstrual products and re-read. Wild, right? We think so too. 

Access to menstrual products is a human right. Other universities across the U.S. have taken the initiative to be more equitable by providing free menstrual products in their bathrooms. It’s time Rice does the same. 

Want to help? Join student efforts on campus to provide free menstrual products in all bathrooms like Deeds at Rice and the Student Association Health Committee. 

More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 5/12/22 4:05pm
The Wellbeing Center should be transparent about its true confidentiality policies

Before you attend a counseling session at the Rice counseling center, you will be told that “the RCC maintains strict standards regarding privacy.” You will find statements from the university that your mental health record will not be shared with anyone outside of extreme situations of imminent harm, and only then that your information will be shared with only the necessary officials. This sounds great, except that these assurances bear no teeth whatsoever — no enforcement agency ensures that Rice follows its public confidentiality promises, and there are no penalties for Rice if they break them. The Wellbeing and Counseling Centers should more directly communicate the limits of their confidentiality policies when compared to unaffiliated counseling centers, and students in sensitive situations should take the necessary precautions to protect their information.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:11pm
We’re in student media to learn

This week marks the last issue of the Thresher for the year, and for the seniors like myself, our last issue ever. I have been a part of the Thresher since freshman year. And it would not be an exaggeration to say it has defined my Rice experience. As someone pursuing a career in journalism after graduation, there has been no better place to learn than at this paper.

OPINION 4/19/22 11:02pm
Philanthropy doesn’t excuse slavery

In January, the Rice Board of Trustees announced plans to move the Founder’s memorial to another area of the academic quad as part of a whole redesign, adding additional context of his “entanglement” with slavery. This comes despite continual calls from the student body to not have the enslaver displayed in the quad regardless of the context provided. It would be just for these calls to action and the majority of the Task Force Committee who voted to not keep it there that the Board of Trustees decide to not keep the memorial prominently displayed in the quad at all.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.