The Uni spent almost $100,000 on hand sanitiser in 2020, according to figures obtained by Radio One. Despite Covid-19 restrictions having eased this year, they are on track to spend almost the same amount in 2021.
According to Property Services Manager Dean Macaulay, $98,128 was spent on hand sanitiser last year — nearly five times the amount spent in 2019 ($17,284). Macaulay says that as well as the pandemic affecting these figures, the Uni also increased in size in 2020, with areas such as the new Dentistry Building, the Eccles Building, the Music, Theatre and Performing Arts Centre and the “Timaru Hub” (which Critic Te Arohi was unable to confirm is actually located in Timaru) needing supplies of hand sanitiser.
As of April 2021, Macaulay says the Uni had spent $26,289 on hand sanitiser, meaning that they are on track to spend $78,867 on hand sanitiser this year. This is despite Covid-19 restrictions significantly loosening since 2020.
The Uni’s hand sanitiser dispensers are made in Australia by Deb, a subsidiary of American multinational SC Johnson. A check on the website of NXP, which provides the Uni’s office supplies (including hand sanitiser), shows Deb InstantFoam Hand Sanitiser on sale at $61.13 for a 1L bottle. Coming in at approximately 82% alcohol, it’s near the golden ratio of $1 to 1 standard drink, if you could survive drinking it.
This makes for around 1,605L of foaming hand sanitiser purchased throughout 2020, or approximately 131,610 standard drinks worth. In simple terms, this equates to around five standards for every student at the Uni. That’s quite a measly amount for an entire year of pandemic-related stress, although quite on-brand for a Uni that has been cracking down on drinking culture for years now.
So next time you’re licking your lips at the thought of a nice, icy glass of delicious foamy hand sanitiser to end a tough week, think about the Uni’s budget and don’t try it. Drinking bleach doesn’t kill the virus either.