I don’t always go to the bathroom, but when I do, I make sure I use the ones I find to be positive, uplifting spaces. Trips to certain bathrooms can ruin your whole day, but I’ll be giving you a review of two stand out bathrooms and two bathrooms beware on campus
Now what do I look for in a bathroom? Obviously, cleanliness (which is next to godliness). Next temperature. Like goldilocks, if it’s unbearably hot or unbearably cold, I don’t want to spend my time there. Third, location. Gotta be central to my whereabouts on campus. Lastly, overall personality. Does this bathroom make me feel loved? Do I want to spend my time here?
As a quick disclaimer, as a woman I’ve not dared to enter the men’s bathrooms on campus, but I’m sure they are similar in quality. In addition, the bathrooms I reviewed were in buildings on campus. Residence halls were excluded, as they needed card access to enter.
Visual Arts Building
The bathrooms in the visual arts building hold a special place in my heart, as they are the most creative bathrooms on campus. What they lack in facilities, they more than make up for in personality.
Their hidden location teases an indication of mystery. To enter, one must ascend a flight of stairs on the exterior of the building, this allows the bathroom’s temperature to match that of the outside world. The greenish hue of the lighting and lack of windows hones in on the bathroom’s eerie vibe. I feel like I might get murdered there, but I like it that way.
The extensive graffiti everywhere only adds to the horror movie vibes of the art bathrooms. The walls, stalls, mirrors and more have fittingly become art. Some graffiti inspires me to be my best self, like the huge red “beautiful” with an arrow pointing to the mirror, while other graffiti gives advice, like “don’t go into the woods (or be home before dark)” featuring a simple illustration.
If I headed to this bathroom before or after an exam, regardless of my mood, Sharpied words on the walls would offer me comfort in the grander picture of life. These bathrooms feel like the perfect winner for spooky season, and they truly sell an experience at the low cost of a sacrifice in cleanliness. Four stars.
Some of campus’s gender-neutral bathrooms reside on the ground floor of Collier Library behind Caffé Dallucci. The twin bathrooms maintain a privacy in that they’re a single room with toilet, instead of lined with stalls. While this makes for a more comfortable crying experience, it’s difficult for friends to comfort you without looking odd when exiting the bathroom.
The other inevitable difficulty that single use bathrooms bring include trying to enter a locked door, then awkwardly waiting for the person occupying the restroom to exit. At least in environments with stalls, it’s easier to tell who’s in and who’s out.
The absolute worst thing about these bathrooms is the height of the toilets. They sit comically high off the floor, and when I sit, my feet dangle. I’m 5’4, the average height for an American woman according to the Center for Disease Control. When using a colligate restroom, I should not feel time warped back to Kindergarten. I practically have to jump to stand up; the entire experience makes me uncomfortable. Two and a half stars.
Without a doubt, the faculty women’s restroom in Bibb Graves wins best bathroom. While the sign on the front of the door reads “faculty,” I’ve encountered plenty of students enjoying the luxuries of these restrooms. Barring past the faculty sign, you enter a small hallway, similar to an alley, before opening the final gates to the Nirvana of bathrooms
Inside, the temperature is cool. Air circulates the space keeping it crisp and fresh smelling. Natural light from the corner windows keeps the mood ethereal. White hexagon tile floors exude similar vibes to those of Turbo Coffee, or something that Joanna Gaines designed herself. Four stalls maximize the space’s efficiency, but my dreams are made of the leather blue chesterfield couch in the corner.
Next to a lovely fake plant, the couch ties the entire space together. It makes me want to badly fail a test or break up with a lover so I can dramatically fall back and let it catch me. I could imagine intellectual women pouring out of the stalls a la High School Musical to comfort me in my distress. The women’s bathroom on the second floor of Bibb Graves is so much more to us than a bathroom, it is a home. Five stars.
Guillot University Center
The worst bathroom to use on this campus lives in the entrails of the Guillot University Center. While most bathrooms in this hot spot for students fall into the category of “just okay,” the women’s restroom in the corner of the stairs by the mail room might be the worst bathroom I’ve ever used in my life.
Upon entering, there’s a strange incline in the floor that I always catch my toe on. After opening the door, patrons experience the ungodly warmth of this bathroom no matter the time of year. Perhaps its inopportune location positions the room in the perfect place to trap heat? In addition to its hell like temperatures, the bathroom envelops me in a sauna like humidity that makes my hair frizz.
The energy this bathroom exudes is as yucky as the bathroom itself. It seems like no matter the stall you enter, the lock won’t work, and the sides could quickly compress in on you at any moment. Anytime I have to use this bathroom, I want to start crying. My number one priority? Getting in and out as quickly as possible. One out of five stars.
Honorable mentions go to the bathrooms in the Mane Market and the Science Building which boast excellent facilities, but lack personality.
At the end of the day, bathroom preference is a personal experience. They also serve as an excellent metaphor for campus infrastructure. Some facilities feel neglected, while others are shiny and new. While a handful of bathrooms absolutely gross me out, we must be grateful for them. The quality of a bathroom need not connect to the quality of my education.