Angela Avery's Blog

Sanitary Campaign Attacks EMU Germs

Posted in Uncategorized by aavery on June 1, 2010

The spread of germs on campus is nothing to fear, but something that can be prevented quite easily here at Eastern Michigan University. With hand sanitizers now conveniently installed in many locations in high traffic areas where fingers and hands are constantly in contact with common surfaces, it makes the spread of germs more difficult. Snow Health Center hopes we all use sanitizing solution often to prevent the spread of viruses, colds or other ailments.

According to Tim Wolak, a junior at EMU, lab assistant at Halle Library and Student Center employee, every time you sit down at the computer lab to print out your paper or surf the Web, you can rest assured each computer was cleaned with “Purell Sanitizer Spray” as well as “409 All Purpose Cleaner” the night before. Also, Clorox Wipes are available by request from the lab technicians for students use before and after they use the computers in case they concerned about the cleanliness or germs.

“Beginning in the fall of this year, students will be hired specifically to clean all the computers under the I.T. department on campus,” Tim Wolak said. “The computers that will be cleaned are in Owen; the Student Center; Pray Harold, when it reopens, and Halle Library. “People who are not getting all of the hours they requested will be able to make up the hours they asked for by cleaning the computers and keyboards”

“With the sanitizers placed directly outside of the computer lab, students can take the precautions necessary to be safe,” said Carlos Costa, director of the EMU Student Center. Even though the I.T. department comes through the Student Center computer lab nightly for cleaning, the Student Center employees also will participate and wipe down the computers if they feel it is necessary.

Vetra Archer, an R.N. and staff nurse at the Snow Health Center offers this advice, “People should be careful about certain things that are in public, of course there are germs — door knobs, hand rails, desks, keyboards are culprits where germs hang out more than others.”

Vetra said, “In order to prevent spreading germs, people on campus can take basic precautions to assure they’re safe. Like washing their hands, making a quick run to the restroom for a hand washing before eating, being updated on vaccines.” Vetra also firmly suggests students should stay home if they are ill beyond a slight, common cold.Franklin Ray, a senior at EMU thinks staying home is not always an option due to the policies here. “Many departments here at Eastern have attendance policies that mandate attendance — the only way to avoid penalty is to seek medical attention for illnesses that often just require rest, but a lot of students are just unable to afford it, so they go to class anyways,” Franklin says.

EMU seems to keep up with protection from viruses and germs on campus by installing sanitizers, cleaning desks, computers, most chairs, elevators and all other areas on grounds.

Dieter Otto, director of custodial, grounds and motorpool said, “We don’t move personal items or clean office desks, but we do clean everything else — fixtures, toilets, urinals. We use a quaternary ammonium solution with a 24-hour residual.” This means for 24 hours after the desks and chairs have been cleaned, if a person were to sneeze in their hand and touch the desk, the germs would be killed within a few minutes. “However, this chemical is not going to stop a fluid exchange,” said Dieter.

Adam Betz, a first lieutenant with the Army and senior at EMU is not only unconcerned with germs on campus, but also thinks people are overly sensitive to protect themselves against germs.

He says, “I’m not concerned with germs at all, in fact, I believe they are more helpful than harmful.”

Adam believes germs serve a purpose to protect. “When I was in Iraq, there was not a bar of soap to be found. Hand washing was the least of our concerns while we were there. The Iraqis were never sick, while I was constantly coming down with something. It was because they were immune to the germs there and I wasn’t.”


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