Student Journalists Sound Off, Episode #4 (Target: Auto-Flush Toilets)

What would the world — or at least college students — be better off without? What is confusing, worrying and frustrating the heck out of a vast majority or a vocal minority of undergrads? And what are students finding evermore evil, weird or dumb and dumber by the day?

In separate op-eds and articles published within campus media worldwide, students regularly offer a bevy of suggestions on “unnecessary traditions, ideas and institutions” that should be scrapped, significantly changed or scrutinized with much greater skepticism.

Simply put, from time to time, student journalists sound off — angrily, bitterly, sarcastically and judiciously. This lighthearted CMM series is aimed at amplifying their voices — offering one extra platform and promotional push for frustrations deemed especially fascinating, funny or on point.

1Read closely. Whether you agree with them or not, rants can often be remixed or spun off into excellent news stories.

For more story ideas, order a copy of my book Journalism of Ideas, dubbed “the next new mandatory text for college journalists.” Also check out 1 Million Story Ideas for Student Journalists, a quick-hit, unending, hopefully indispensable, fun, fun, fun digital story ideas fountain.

Episode #4

Auto-Flush Toilets



In the eyes of Thomas Austin, a student at the State University of New York at Oswego, “Automatic flushers just show how lazy we are as humans.”

They also earn his ire for how often they fail to work and their penchant for going rogue and flushing without warning. In his words, “I am just sick of going to the bathroom and getting splashed while I’m trying to relax.”

As Austin argues in The Oswegonian campus newspaper, “I remember when the automatic flushing came in, I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. As I got older I realized how much they truly frustrate me. I think that we should just get rid of them. I mean, let’s all be honest, it is not difficult to pull the lever to flush the toilet…Also, have you ever been on the toilet and for some reason it just flushes and gets you all wet? I just don’t understand why the toilet would randomly flush while we are still using it.”

One Response to “Student Journalists Sound Off, Episode #4 (Target: Auto-Flush Toilets)”
  1. Michael Westendorf says:

    I think Mr. Thomas Austin misses the true reason for automatic flush machines: it’s for hygiene, not for convenience.