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Ranking Notre Dame bathrooms

| Thursday, April 30, 2020

If you interviewed the typical Notre Dame student and asked them about their daily schedule, they would give you a run-down of classes or extracurriculars. Suppose you pressed a little deeper and told them that you wanted a very detailed description of their day. They might throw in what they had for lunch or what hair-product they used. But no matter how hard you press, the boomer society that has smelted our now-hardened infantile brains of mush tells us that we cannot talk about bathrooms. It never comes up in movies (except comedies trying to make a point), casual conversation and, most importantly, in critical spotlight.

Plenty of people are willing to fight incessantly over the quality of food at our two dining halls that provide near-identical experiences. But who is our champion of the lavatory? Who dares bring this conversation into the limelight of attention? In an age of social awakenings and pressure to break free of past bonds, let’s allow ourselves the comfort to discuss anything and everything.

As a general disclaimer before proceeding, I will admit that due to my current biological state, I only have the authority to speak on behalf of the men’s rooms on campus. Regardless, after hours of sifting through notes and measurements with my female assistants, I can assuredly say the ladies’ rooms are well-near identical to ours, perhaps with slightly altered proportions between stalls and urinals.

DeBartolo Hall: Did you know DeBartolo is so large that half of the student body could be in classes there at the same time? Luckily, if some glitch in the Registrar’s office allowed for such a nightmare to happen, DeBart’s highly accommodating bathrooms would be able to withstand. However, the stall dividers look like they were purchased from the Navy’s scrap-metal recycling program, and the lack of urinal dividers led to a very awkward stand-off with one of my professors. Truly the Golden Corral of bathrooms, DeBart’s facilities are a prime example of quantity over quality. 6/10

Duncan Student Center: How does one of Notre Dame’s busiest buildings stand up to the test? Not too well. The bathrooms in Duncan are fine. They look nice and have cool tiling to study when you’re bored. However, Duncan suffers from just too many non-students. I know Notre Dame lives in its own bubble, but I would take the DeBart bathrooms filled with Canadian Geese and green Irish backpacks over one middle-aged man taking a breather from his conference being held in Dahnke Ballroom. Maybe I just don’t like briefcases in bathrooms. Shame. 4/10

Main Building: Known primarily for its magnificent 23.9-carat Gold Dome, known secondly for some top-notch bathrooms. Never crowded. Has a tinted window for natural light with privacy. Would totally walk from Hesburgh to Main just for those beautiful oak doors that garnish a lavatory that screams class, culture and community. 8/10

South Dining Hall: There’s no doubt about it, South has the absolute worst bathroom experience. Sunday wing night just isn’t the same when I don’t have free-and-available access to a lavatory. Also, the stairs on South are all wonky and make me feel like I’m going to fall on my face. After passing the Grab ‘n Go and realizing that you once again forgot to use your remaining swipes, enter the dungeon of a bathroom that feels like the thermostat detector is locked in a freezer and the air vents are humidifiers. An insane number of urinals line the wall with no dividers, and the stalls are super cramped and not well lit at all. It’s only after you leave the stall that you see that your pants are soaked from some mysterious liquid covering the ground. 1/10

North Dining Hall: Really nothing going for them until you conjure up images of South’s monstrosity and realize how nice you have it. It’s convenient, pretty clean and well lit. The location isn’t very central, but at least I don’t have to tell the workers every time I’ve had five too many wings. 5/10 

The Lakes of St. Mary and St. Joseph: Just kidding. Please don’t. 0/10

LaFortune Student Center: LaFortune is all-in-all a very oddly designed building. The second floor has two different parts, and I am confident that every time I go in there I discover a brand new area I’d never seen before. Likewise, the bathrooms just don’t have a great location. They aren’t too clean and feel very cramped and poorly lit, despite the windows providing natural light. 3/10

Football Stadium: Although only accessible for a meager handful of days every year, the stadium bathrooms provide an excellent experience. They aren’t beautiful or pristine, but it’s always heartwarming to see a restroom filled with Notre Dame apparel and the occasional band member desperately trying not to spill anything on their uniform. The bathrooms are large and accommodating, and the speakers playing live-game narration is always a plus (something greatly lacking in Joyce). The hand-dryers are perfect for those cold games when your fingers feel numb. Just watch out for any ecstatic fans that miss their target when we make a touchdown. 9/10

Solomon Duane


Apr. 27

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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