I’m sure we’ve all experienced using a bathroom at some point in time. If you personally haven’t, I won’t judge, but that’s pretty weird. Either way, we’re going to explore a campus experience that is probably familiar to most students: using public washrooms. Whether you hate the experience or love it (again, that’s pretty weird, but it’s 2018 I guess), we’ve randomly selected four representative washrooms as a brief and incomplete representation of the campus experience as a whole, both the good and the bad. Hope you enjoy, and please, please wash your hands.
Men’s and Women’s Washrooms, top floor of Medical Education Centre:
These rooms get low scores for their utter and complete lack of privacy. Neither the men’s nor women’s rooms in this location have doors, but simply have a winding corridor as an entrance. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not as though passersby can see into the rooms while you’re doing your business. Any patrons to these rooms are surely out of sight.
The problem, you see, is the sound. Call me old fashion, but I am of the strong opinion that washrooms without at least an attempt at sound insulation should be illegal. I’m sure we can all agree that using a washroom with no door to the outside world feels like sitting in the centre of a megaphone. And though this may not be the case in reality, don’t people deserve to at least have the peace of mind granted by the knowledge that there is a closed door between them and the general public? Don’t they deserve to know that they can void their bowels without disturbing the peace? Don’t they deserve more than a bathroom that doesn’t even attempt to grant them a sliver of the isolation they desire? I think so.
Men’s washroom, top floor of Memorial Hall:
Ah, yes, Memorial Hall. This won’t surprise you to hear, but this is one of the older buildings we have on campus. Just take a look at the amount of elbowroom each stall permits and you will immediately realize that this was made during an era when the average person was much, much smaller. If you can get past the claustrophobia, the room is actually quite nice with the wide, frosted glass window that allows for copious amounts of natural lighting. The room also gets bonus points for being one of the few washrooms to still have physical paper towels and no automatic blow dryers. My chronically dry skin thanks you, Memorial Hall.
Men’s Washroom, CAW basement:
The men’s room right next to the Multi-Faith Space gets an overall good score for its relative privacy (the door actually closes, there are a good number of stalls, and it’s in a relatively remote part of the building depending on the time of day), and for being culturally accommodating (an ablution station is available for those who need it before prayer). However, this room loses some points for one specific failing: the corridor is narrow enough that I get too close to the automatic blow dryer every time I walk past it, thus triggering the machine to go off. If I wanted to loudly announce my entrance into a bathroom with a metallic whine, I’d simply screech myself.
Universal Bathroom, the CAW Basement:
This bathroom can be located just past the Campus Bookstore. It is a spacious, single-use, universally accessible room with an automatic toilet, sink, and hand dryers. Major points go to this room for the tremendous amount of privacy it grants: single-use and closing door aside, it’s also in one of the most remote locations in the building.
However, some points will be deducted for two reasons. Firstly, sometimes the automatic sink is hard to activate by waving my hands underneath and it gives me a bit of an existential crisis that makes me question whether I actually exist. Secondly, every time I use this bathroom, I am compelled to consider the moral ramifications of using a universally accessible room when I myself am relatively able-bodied. Is this the equivalent of parking in an accessible parking spot when I don’t need to? Or is it truly intended for universal use, in which case there’s nothing morally wrong with my using this bathroom? I am to this day still uncertain.
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