A Freshman’s Perspective

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By: Sam DePoala, Staff Writer

During my first few weeks here at New Paltz High School I’ve gotten increasingly interested in the school facilities like the wellness center and lockers, but one more obscure facility caught my eye:  the locker room shower. The locker room shower, however, is a place often looked at with disgust and disdain. I can see why, considering its state- the floor is covered in dirt and there are no curtains or even shower caps.

But I am not a picky man; if I need to shower, I shower. So after gym I brought my flip flops and beach towel and I was ready. During my quick wash I noticed a few things. Firstly, the water coming out of the nozzle was just one solid stream with extremely high pressure and there also seemed to be a lock on one of the nozzles. I’m not entirely sure if there was a purpose to that lock because the head worked fine, so I guess that’s a mystery. But what’s even more of a mystery is how many people view the showers as something horrible for seemingly no reason. So to uncover this question of mine I asked a sizable group of students if they would ever use the gym shower and why?

What I Found:

Chart of responses from students of New Paltz High School

Out of 60 students, 51.7% said they wouldn’t shower. 28.3% Said no that’s disgusting. 13.3% said maybe they would, and 6.7% said they would or already do. Now here are some of their reasons why:

Student Opinions:

Student One (Pro-Shower):

~”After a game or practice, you might really want to take a shower because you’re sweaty and smelly. A shower would feel really nice!”

Student Two (Hates all showers;every single one):

~”I do not shower”

Student Three (No but not disgusting):

~”It doesn’t really make sense for after gym because there is no time. People leave the school after sports so there is no reason to use the showers than either.”

Student Four (No it’s disgusting):

~”There’s not a ton of privacy and they’re kinda gross. It smells weird in there and I would rather just go home.”

Some common reasons why people don’t use the locker room showers include: not enough time to be comfortable, overall uncleanliness of the facility, and being nude in a public place. Personally, I think that there’s enough time to shower considering we get 10 minutes of changing time. And when it comes to the dirty floors, shower shoes/flip flops are a simple solution. But I can’t argue against not feeling comfortable considering there is not a lot of privacy. I decided to get some more information, so I went to Coach Tegeler who has been here a reasonable amount of time.

Coach Tegeler’s Thoughts:

During gym class I asked Coach Tegeler about the history of the shower across his career. He said in the beginning of his career only about 7 students used the shower. However, during that time period the showers were clean and there was no dirt on the floors, no random master lock on a nozzle, and no shower curtains; that part didn’t change. After they graduated, there was a long stretch of time where not a single person showered and the debris piled up slowly. With no reason to clean it, the shower conditions continually worsened. This year though Coach Tegeler reported 1-2 people (me included) are actively using the shower. Coach Tegeler thinks it should be common etiquette to shower after gym, but he strongly recommends shower shoes.

My Thoughts:

I think that if you’re sweaty or smell bad and want to feel refreshed after gym or sports, grab your toiletry bag and towel and rinse off in the shower. But if sweat and smell isn’t a problem for you, continue as normal. But I hope someone reads this and smells better by the end of gym class for everyone’s sake. Stay clean New Paltz.