I attend the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a public boarding school in North Carolina. The school generally provides all necessary sanitation equipment (brooms, soap, etc.) to each hall so that it can keep sanitation standards high; however, recently the school has limited the number of paper towels which it is willing to provide to my hall to stock its bathroom. Unsurprisingly, we nearly never have paper enough paper towels to last us through the week. I have spoken to an administrator about this issue, and he claims that the use of more than two rolls per week is costing the school an excessive amount of money, but this does not seem logical, as paper towels are extremely cheap. I have spoken to residential life assistants on other halls, who have told me that their halls use an average of 2-3 paper towel rolls per week, and they do not think that they could get through a week with only two rolls without running out. Does the school have any duty to its students (who also live on campus) to provide a sanitary living environment, and if so, is the severe limiting of paper towels issued a violation of this duty? I would like to have some legal weight as I speak to other administrators at the school about this issue.

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    The school does have a general duty to provide for the health and welfare of its boarding students under the doctrine of in loco parentis, but a legalistic framing of your small (but important to you) issue is probably unwise, particularly in a Southern state like North Carolina. No court which ever take an issue like this in isolation, seriously. Better to appeal to the impact that this has on the school's image, sense of self-respect and honor in the eyes of tuition paying students, donors, alumni and prospective students. Sell improving this situation as a cheap way to avoid bad PR. – ohwilleke Nov 16 '16 at 6:46
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    Thanks, I was not planning on threatening an actual suit, more a tip to the health inspector who usually only passes the school by a thin margin (and after a colossal effort by the school to clean itself up in the preceeding week) anyway. – nosyarg Nov 16 '16 at 17:04
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    Fair enough, but you would be better off not mentioning the possibility of tipping off the health inspector to the school officials which could lead to negative retribution directed at you and might cause the school to dig in its heels on the issue reflexively. You will get better results by appealing to their better natures rather than by presenting anything that smells like a threat. – ohwilleke Nov 16 '16 at 21:45

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