Letter: Why do we need paper towels?

After reading Lindsey Jackson’s guest column yesterday (“Why don’t we have paper towels?,” Sept. 10), I was struck by the attitude that somehow the best way to prevent the spread of H1N1 is to trick Yale students into washing their hands because we’re too lazy to dry them ourselves. In the author’s view, we would never keep ourselves clean and healthy if left to our own devices.

The author seems to think that we Yale students could never have the gumption to wipe our hands on a towel or our pants, or, hell, just shake them in the air for a bit. Let’s face it, those hand towels do get pretty dirty with folks wiping their clean, damp hands on them. Instead, she thinks, Yale should send more of our tuition money to loggers in the Pacific Northwest so they can cut down trees, grind them into pulp, roll them into sheets and ship them 3,000 miles to New Haven.

I think the best way to prevent H1N1 is to treat Yale students like adults and advise them to wash their hands. I’m sure we can all understand that having swine flu for a week would be no fun. If we all give it a moment’s thought, we won’t need to have someone trick us into washing our hands with the lure of paper towels.

Philip Michael
Sept. 10
The writer is a senior in Morse College.


  • Yale 08

    I fail to see what’s wrong with paper towels.

    They work perfectly in many uses.

  • Yale denizen

    It is easy to treat individual students as adults when they act that way. However, taking the undergraduate student body as a single entity, one finds it difficult to think of “students” as adults. Especially given the lack of common courtesy and common sense displayed on a daily basis.
    That being said, it’s not just the undergraduate student body who needs to be reminded to wash (and dry) their hands. Paper towels encourage thorough drying of the hands. Touching a wet doorknob is one of the most disgusting sensations.