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The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

Not Throwing in the (Paper) Towel

How Jake Ellengold brought back paper towels to NVOT

We’re accustomed to politicians making promises during campaigns that end up unfulfilled. However, Student Senate Liaison Jake Ellengold’s pledge to reinstate paper towels broke that pattern. In December, Ellengold’s key campaign promise became a reality: paper towels were restored in the C-hallway bathrooms.

Last year, paper towels were removed from all bathrooms, leaving students to use the hand dryers. Assistant Principal Dr. Robert Hyman explained the decision, stating, “The paper towels were removed from NVOT because of students bringing great costs to the district by misusing the paper towels. A small number of students were using the paper towels to destroy the facilities, resulting in even greater costs.”

When Ellengold began his duties as Senate Liaison this year, he made it his mission to get them back. His strategy involved extensive research and preparation: “I gathered all these academic journals and research papers on the need for paper towels, specifically how unhygienic hot air dryers are,” Ellengold said. After doing some more research, he found “anecdotal data and videos on how hand dryers weren’t working properly.”

Jake Ellengold poses with the reinstalled paper towels. (Violet Oster)

Presenting this information to the student council and administration, Ellengold argued his case. Conversations with key individuals, including Student Council advisor Lindsay Steffner, Student Senate advisor Jennifer Hoffman, principal Dr. Timothy Gouraige, and assistant principals Hyman and Luisella Marolda, were pivotal in gaining support.

With the administration onboard, Ellengold informed the school. Classrooms erupted with applause when Ellengold announced the return of paper towels on the loudspeakers during morning announcements.

Despite the success in the C-hallway bathrooms, the fate of paper towels in other areas remains uncertain. “I know that there are a lot of students who prefer paper towels,” Hyman said. “I can only imagine that the chances of getting them back are going to require the commitment by everyone to ensure that our bathrooms are respected day in and day out.”

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