Going to the bathroom is one of the few things that everyone has in common, save for the ubiquitous dread of this next post-election Thanksgiving and the magnitude of either joy or dread that one associates with the impending end of football season. The commode, as my mother calls it, stands as a safe space where contemplation and reflection can be achieved while the stall door acts as a gate separating the world of bowel relief from the world discussions concerning Harambe or Donald Trump.
Each of us invariably remember a time when we have stood, legs crossed, bladder full on some obscure corner of campus, frantically surveying our surroundings for the most modern building that inevitably holds the most modern bathroom, sporting a Dyson AirBlade hand dryer and motion-sensing sink.
However, the subject of “Where should I poop?” is an issue that has unfortunately not been digested in campus discourse. This piece seeks to catalogue six of the university’s bathrooms, some notorious for their lack of TLC (Toilet and Lavatory Cleanliness) and others best known for their designs and regal appearances.
Of course, my gender and the current political climate surrounding gender neutral bathrooms hinders me from accessing any of the ladies’ rooms on campus, though I did peek into a few of them and my rating is generally equal for both genders and any in between.
Listed from most regal to most repulsive, hopefully you can better gauge which bathroom best suits you in your time of need.
- Bryant Hall – 1st Floor – The Magnum Opus Those who frequent this high-caliber lavatory on the first floor of Bryant Hall know that it stands as the magnum opus of campus bathrooms. Housing the university’s Department of Philosophy and Religion, students with classes in Bryant Hall might be found philosophizing over the state of the world after passing the globe in the buildings foyer. Fit for a king, this tiled temple frames its porcelain ornaments exquisitely and provides a full-body mirror for those times that you need to bask in regret over what clothes you put on at 7:00 in the morning. If you ever feel nervous about washing your hands too close to someone standing at the urinal, have no fear because this bathroom comes with a woodgrain stall which handily has a second private sink and mirror, allowing you to feel like you are in the privacy of your own home in the bustling campus environment. To add to its charm, its sinks are held up by shiny, metallic legs that bring the quality of this bathroom to an almost presidential level. Stop by Bryant at your nearest convenience, whether you are simply trying to find a hospitable “loo” or are an art student in need of inspiration.
- Paris-Yates Chapel – A Heavenly Pot The first thing that sticks out when entering the bathroom in Paris-Yates Chapel is the echo of your voice that prompts you to look up at the high ceiling and long window that frame this altar of peace in a sea of noisy lecture halls. The small size of bathroom is made up for by its strength of aesthetic character and its cleansing location in the one of the university’s chapels. The globular light fixture adorning the ceiling sheds soft light on the chapel-goer as they shift from a space of holy contemplation to one of bodily release that brings a similar state of bliss and enlightenment. The sink stands atop a podium reminiscent of the architectural style found throughout Disney’s Hercules, providing a sanitizing experience fit for the gods. Whether you are looking to ponder the sacrament or the excrement, Paris-Yates Chapel has something special in store for you.
- The Lyceum – 1st Floor – The Throne Room of Chancellors While the Lyceum stands as both the chancellor and the university’s seat of power, the bathroom on the first floor of university’s famed administrative building has also assisted with disposing of the stools of power since the building was completed in 1848. This quite literal throne-room is much less ornamental than some bathrooms on campus, but the white tiles, stalls, shutters, and porcelain therein are sterile emblems of the stability and order that the Lyceum brings to the university. than one would expect, this privy which has served the university’s chancellors and students alike exists as a testament to the longevity and tradition that this school was founded on. This bathroom is worth frequenting if you wish to absorb the power of a place that has given chancellors past and present the clarity to make decisions or if you need to take a potty-break on the way to the library.
- Trent Lott Leadership Institute – 1st Floor – The Louvre of Leaders The Trent Lott Leadership Institute offers many things: a major in Public Policy Leadership, a sun-lit foyer watched over by portraits of state and congressional policymakers, and a bathroom that when used provides students with the re-invigoration and determination to change the world for the better. Tucked away down a winding hall that seems architecturally confused at best, the Lott bathroom provides a light at the end of the tunnel which has served students time and time again when finals are nearing and papers are soon to be due. This bathroom should be considered as mid-level in this list but is entirely functional and sanitary nonetheless. Though it seems dingy and quaint when first entered, opening the blinds does a world of good in this blue, maroon, and tan tiled bathroom. It is often left unused due to its location and should hence be on your short list during those ten minutes between classes.
- Bishop Hall – 2nd Floor – A History Lesson While Bishop Hall may hold the Department of History, history shows us that some things such as National Socialism in the case of the Nazis, misguided Marxism-Leninism in the case of the Soviets, and the second story bathroom in Bishop hall may appear appealing but end up smelling like piss. This seemingly newly renovated bathroom has all the amenities that one could need when relieving themselves: a bar to set your coffee on when entering, multiple stalls, urinals, sinks, and mirrors that almost leave the beholder in a swoon, and aesthetically pleasing tiles that paint an illusion of cleanliness. However, this façade only thinly veils the stench and lack of hygiene of this bathroom. Due to the large number of classes that I have attended in Bishop over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to the presents left in the toilets, the floor that is made slippery by a substance other than water, and the paper towels that litter the floor like propaganda flyers urging citizens to leave some city due to impending doom. I would avoid this bathroom if possible, save for moments of bodily distress that must be addressed.
- The Student Union – 1st Floor – Pandemonium Near Panda Express The most infamous of bathrooms lies in the heart of the university’s Student Union, its entrance a door worn by the hands of students rushing from one of the Union’s pitiful eating establishments to empty their bowels in an equally squalid and disemboweling bathroom. After you have barreled through the excessively heavy door, your eyes are met by the wet floor sign that never ceases to move from its home next to the hand driers. The greasy stench of Chik-Fil-A sandwiches permeates the room, leaving the bathroom-goer with the imminent feeling that congestive heart failure and hypertension are in their near future. The level of traffic that comes through this bathroom relegates it to a chaotic number six on this list of bathrooms and the palatable place on campus.