Bathroom graffiti of love

Bathroom graffiti of love

Karishma Mehrotra

 With an upsurge of kind bathroom messages, people around campus express differing views

Some consider it a random act of pure kindness. Something that puts smiles on their faces and warmth in their heart.

Others consider any writing as graffiti.

In the downstairs A building girls bathroom, several uplifting notes have popped up. On the hand blow-dryer, the mirrors, the sink and the stall doors, anonymous writers wrote messages in Sharpie like “After rain, there will always be a rainbow” and “Psh…you are beautiful.”

Sophomore Pooja Pandey finds value in, what she feels are, hidden signs of kindness.

“Considering it isn’t addressed to anyone specifically, it could apply to anyone who reads it,” Pandey said, “…making [it] much more of something that makes you feel good inside because it could be directed at you.”

However, those that are in charge of cleaning up our campus, like Faculties Manager Chris Kenney, view the graffiti in a different light.

“When we see any kind of [writing], it doesn’t matter whether it’s a name or a happy face, we consider it as graffiti…because one graffiti promotes another act of graffiti and it promotes more graffiti,” Kenney said. He notes that janitors have to spend approximately 20 to 30 minutes more on each bathroom in order to deal with various graffiti.

The custodian’s procedure, mostly for hate graffiti, is to leave a note on Kenney’s desk explaining the site and its specific location along with photos of the graffiti. Then the custodians use sanders, graffiti remover or other methods of removing the vandalism. Kenney explains that etchings in mirrors are sometimes the most frustrating to remove.

“When we see any kind of [writing], it doesn’t matter whether it’s a name or a happy face, we consider it…graffiti,” Kenney said.

Although Kenney realizes that graffiti on our campus is not too extreme, he does note an incident a couple years back when custodians had to shut down bathrooms because three boys bathrooms were plastered with swastikas.

“What happens when you start to [get] hate or violent [graffiti],” Kenney said, “people respond and it‘s not friendly responses.”

Nonetheless, Pandey sees no harm in the simple, joyful notes around campus, including the post its on locker rooms.

“For someone to put in the time and effort, to come up with a short simple note [that] isn’t very time consuming…the effect that it has it is so much more relaxing and impactful.”