College rations hot water to save money1 min read


Photo by Alix Metanat.

LEFT IN THE COLD – A sign in a bathroom near S6, which does not have warm water, tells users to wash with warm water.

Keren Lopez

Budget cuts have led to De Anza College reducing the hot water flow to many restrooms throughout campus, leaving many students in the cold when it comes time to washing their hands.

“The decision was made to save gas. It was made for convenience,” said Frank Nunez, director of facilities and operations.

Of nine women’s bathrooms tested, only the restroom near the cafeteria had warm water.

Of eight men’s restrooms tested, restrooms in the Administration building, downstairs Campus Center and Student Services building had warm water. Only the bathroom near the cafeteria had hot water.

The cutbacks have prompted students to take creative steps to find hot water.

“My husband and I map up the good bathrooms,” said Mariana Aguilar Rivera, a 35-year-old history major. Rivera likened using cold water to washing her hands in a river and called warm water a luxury. 

If done properly, washing hands in cold water does not have any health disadvantages. But people will tend to wash their hands longer if they are using warm water, said Mary Sullivan, health and awareness director.

“I empathize with the students,” she said.

Bryce Druzin contributed to this story.