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Ranking campus bathrooms

| Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The title really says it all. I tried to go to as many buildings on campus as I could this last week with the caveat that they were public buildings — so no dorms. I took down first impressions, sink pressure, urinal spacing, stall to urinal ratio and many other x-factors. Although my hometown Portland does not believe in gender, I had to honor the sex split and I could only base my rankings on male bathrooms. Here they are, worse to best:

19. South Dining Hall basement

A disgusting excuse for a bathroom from layout to smell to warmth. All the stalls are darkened to make you afraid of your own bowel movements. There are actually a million sinks to match with the million and a half urinals, which are highly unnecessary because I have seen maybe only one other person in there ever. They have a trash can on the far wall, which is just poor layout since no one walks out that way, making it unnecessarily pristine. Overall the vibe is creepy and you leave sweaty.

18. O’Shag first floor

17. Hesburgh basement

These are bland bathrooms that sort of make you feel uncomfortable. The basement has way too many stalls for its use, and there is an odd table right at the entrance that feels off-putting. O’Shag has an unused empty space between wall and stall, it smells funky but no weirdly not bad and it feels like it doesn’t want you in there. I leave both feeling uneasy and unsure.

16. LaFortune third floor

15. LaFortune basement

These both aren’t great. Their color scheme, though unique, is horrendous. Their urinals are crammed together and their stalls are far too revealing for comfort. However, the basement has a much nicer, fuller mirror and the third floor has a hand dryer that awkwardly sits right above the sink, bringing the former higher than the latter.

14. DeBartolo second floor

13. Hayes-Healy

The journey to actually find each of these bathrooms was annoyingly difficult. As we all know, DeBartolo bathrooms are eerily similar to supply closets, and Hayes-Healy the building was depressing to walk into, let alone to take the time to roam their halls. But give credit where credit is due. The DeBartolo second floor bathrooms do have an excess of stalls and urinals that are needed during the busiest hours. Though these urinals are cramped in a six person pod right in front of the mirror, at least they have them. Hayes-Healy, unlike its building, was surprisingly not that sad. They had no excess coat hangers, paper towel dispensers or sinks. The perfect amount for their building, and I’m proud of them.

12. Hesburgh first floor

11. DeBartolo first floor

10. The Rock second floor

On first glance, I thought all of these would be awful. DeBart is notorious for its strange smells lingering just outside, Hesburgh first is bound to be filthy due to its high traffic and the Rock is the Rock. They did have their issues: Hesburgh had unnecessary cubbies, cramped stalls and a needless large handicap stall; DeBartolo had the bland color scheme with its odd U-shape layout, and the Rock felt like a literal sauna and had disturbingly spaced urinals. With this being said though, Hesburgh was surprisingly clean with a minimalist layout, DeBartolo can handle its heavy traffic well — and has a nice mirror stretching wall to wall — and the Rock has beautiful brick for its walls with a cute cupboard beneath the sinks. Not great, but not terrible either.

9. North Dining Hall basement

8. Mendoza first floor

7. Hesburgh 10th floor

Now we are getting to the bathrooms that you actually prefer to do business in, not the ones you begrudgingly accept. NDH is very well lit with new sinks and toilets; it just suffers from how warm it is and how superfluous all those urinals are for a lesser-used bathroom. Mendoza is a little boring (similar to some of the people) but is impeccably clean, has an inviting color scheme and great sink area from a space and water pressure standpoint. The shape is a little tight, but I like to think of that as them being economical with their space, which I would hope the business school takes seriously. The single-unit 10th floor bathrooms promotes a unisex culture, which I’m all about. You can also purchase tampons inside. Although it does not apply to me, I have to imagine those are useful to someone at some point.

6. Jordan first floor

5. Geddes first floor

4. Como first floor

Beautiful yet simple defines these bathrooms. Jordan has spotless stalls (four) and urinals (four) to give them a good number of places to go for that lobby area. Add this to a handicap stall not too big or large and they come in sixth, but are only brought down by a more simplistic aesthetic and lack of natural light. Geddes has great colors and good vibes like the rest of the building. Their only knock is one urinal that is far too low to the ground, but they stay top five. Como has wonderful tile, but what really brings them up this far is the gorgeous white noise of the fountain in the background urging you to do your business gently yet tactfully.

3. Main Building first floor

2. Duncan Student Center first floor

These buildings are more than passable: they went above and beyond, and invite you to enjoy your bathroom break how you see fit. Main Building is spacious with old tile work, a perfect amount of stalls to urinals, big mirrors, all inundated with spectacular natural light. Though their sink pressure is a little too high, they check off all the right boxes. I was hesitant to put Duncan this high because that was the safe choice, but they leave me no choice. Large urinal dividers not provided in any other bathroom greet you when you walk in. This coupled with a full wall mirror, clean sink areas, tiles that are a gorgeous wooden brown and perfectly sized stalls, handicapped or not, make this one of the top bathrooms on campus.

1. Morris Inn

Double-ply toilet paper. Need I say more.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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