Students using sanitizer on campus

Simon Husted

Stater study finds use varies by building

Credit: DKS Editors

Over summer vacation, Kent State officials armed the campus with 130 new hand sanitizing lotion dispensers, said James Zentmeyer, associate director of Resident Services. The artillery comes at a time when the threat of swine flu draws nearer.

The Daily Kent Stater conducted a study, with the cooperation of Residence Services, to find out how much of the sanitizer people have used so far. In the study, 48 hand-sanitizing dispensers across 11 buildings on campus were measured to see how much fluid was missing.

The results of the Daily Kent Stater survey can be seen on page 6.

As of Wednesday, students and non-students have used 16.3 percent of the campus’ available lotion, according to the study.

However, usage of these flu-fighting tools varies substantially from building to building.

Since the semester began, dispensers in high-traffic areas like Eastway Center or the Student Center, which have used only an estimated 9.4 percent and 16.7 percent of their total fluid, respectively, have been far less used compared to dispensers in residence halls, such as Prentice, Wright and Olson, which have used 29 percent, 22.5 percent and 25 percent of their lotion’s supply, respectively.

And students are using different quantities of the lotion.

Sophomore nursing major Darren Stevenson said he uses the dispensers four or five times a day.

“I won’t go all out of my way to use them,” he said. “If it’s conveniently near me, I’ll use it though.”

Salina Fu, a freshmen fashion merchandising major originally from New York City, admits to only washing her hands with the lotion once a day.

“Swine Flu isn’t exactly on my mind, but I do try to practice good hygiene,” Fu said.

While Residence Services confirm they have plenty of extra packets to supply well beyond the fall semester, Zentmeyer and housekeeping officials expect no need for refills earlier than late October.

Numerous health studies have encouraged the use of hand lotion and soap. A University of California at Berkeley health study said college students touch vulnerable pores on their body four times every minute, according to a New York Times story this month.

Note on the study:

Prior to Aug. 25, each dispenser was filled with 33 fluid ounces of hand-sanitizing lotion, said James Zentmeyer of Residence Services. Dispensers release one milliliter per pump, and 975.9 milliliters go into 33 fluid ounces, meaning each dispenser can serve about 976 times.

In the study, a Daily Kent Stater reporter looked at the fluid remaining in three to five dispensers in the 11 buildings listed above and observed how much fluid was left. We then multiplied the proportion of missing fluid from each dispenser by 976. The calculation from each dispenser was then added with other dispensers from its respective building. Because the study was done in a visual manner, human error may exist in the results. Many of the figures are rough estimates.

Contact news correspondent Simon Husted at [email protected]