Universities Need to Improve Hygiene in Computer Labs

by Emily on February 12, 2020

in Articles

Universities often pride themselves on having a student body made up of some of the most intellectually capable people in the world. However, despite that, they tend to step in and do quite a bit of handholding for their supposedly adult student body. If you look at a university’s student handbook you might instructions on what windows are allowed to be open, how clean dorm rooms are to be kept and even how often students that live on campus need to take out their trash. 

When I went to a large public college in Florida not too long ago, their health department offered specific instructions on what bad health habits students should aim to avoid. This included things like not getting enough sleep, not eating enough fruits and vegetables and not showering. While it may seem excessive to have to preach these things to grown adults, it was actually quite necessary. 

Ironically, despite dedicating quite a bit of effort towards making sure students don’t get the entire faculty sick with their poor hygiene, universities also overlook one of the easiest ways to spread disease in the 21st century: keyboards and mice. College computer labs are full of keyboards and mice that are used by thousands of students and never cleaned- the same students that need to be reminded to take out the trash and shower. If the average keyboard contains three times as many bacteria as the average public toilet seat, how dirty do you expect these college keyboards to be? 

If that statistic makes you want to pour bleach over your keyboard and mice, I don’t blame you. As it turns out though, you literally can… if you have a medical-grade keyboard and mouse. Keyboards and mice have proven to be a major hazard throughout healthcare organizations that have been forced to adapt to combat these major cross-contamination points. Having washable keyboards and washable mice has proven to be a highly effective tactic to preserve good hand hygiene in health systems and as a result, restaurants and other corporate entities have followed suit. Universities are the natural fit to continue this trend. 

On top of being able to bleach, or use other means to disinfect the devices, washable keyboards and mice are resistant to various other things that college students may spill on a keyboard. In my day, I have seen sleep-deprived college students spill Red Bull, protein shakes, and even a science experiment onto their keyboard, leaving it completely unusable. Washable keyboards and mice are all around the most practical solution for the college experience. 

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