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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Solution to Peeping Tom problem not efficient

Published: September 12, 2014
Section: Opinions

There’s a problem brewing in East Quad—the bathrooms. Last year, an unidentified student was involved in East Quad’s Peeping Tom scandal, a title which is rather self-explanatory. The consequences of this scandal are quite concerning to me. Since the scandal, universal locks have been placed on all the bathrooms in East. This installation is both ineffective and unnecessary.
In any case, it seems as though bathroom convenience is presently trouncing bathroom security pretty hard. The male bathrooms now predominantly have their locks neutralized through a combination of crushed paper towels and fire extinguishers MacGyvered as door stoppers. In spite of their own protests, however, the women of East curiously enough seem only to use the doorstop method of lock-inhibition, rather than the more tried-and-true paper towel stuff-technique; when there is no doorstop, the bathroom is almost invariably locked. Sometimes, though, a blind, insensate fool will remove these inhibitors and restore the bathroom locks to the dismay of absolutely every other same-gender hall mate of theirs.
Either way the situation is pretty inane. When the Gosman Peeper was caught, it was due to the authorities tracing his movements going in and out of the gym based on records regarding his keycard history. The reason the Shadow Voyeur of East Quad has escaped justice is almost definitely due to the fact that he himself lived in East Quad. After toiling over the circumstances with my prodigious skills of deduction, I’ve come to realize that it so happens that the Peeping Tom most likely does not live in East right now, and is therefore not subject to these useless “safety precautions.”
“But won’t the lock system preserve the innocence of everyone from any future Peeping Toms?” you might ask. No.
There is a reason I’m being so objective and one-sided about how unnecessary these bathroom locks are. I asked an anonymous source what she thought of the situation, and she just told me the keys we get work for both male and female bathrooms. I’ve checked (with permission and witnesses of course); she’s not lying. The locks that piss everyone off are essentially useless in the sole function they were created to serve. I cannot imagine a guy so brazenly insane and aloof from social conduct that he goes into bathrooms to watch people wash themselves be warded off by the otherwise supremely annoying task of always opening the bathroom door with his keys. You see, there is a difference between deciding to wash your face and deciding to become a sex offender.
The lock system utilized in East right now is futile. It was installed to act as a safeguard against a guy who doesn’t live there anymore, and adds an annoying step to an otherwise menial (and crucial) task, ultimately failing to actually fulfill its supposed function. So I guess what I’m really getting at is: Whoever’s removing the paper towels from propping the doors, cut it out. Also, I think the new long, non-transparent shower curtains installed over the summer have already destroyed any future potential for voyeurism, bar amazing feats of engineering that Brandeis will never offer courses for.