While functional, some bathrooms on campus aren’t necessarily places you want to use.
A wise sports editor once said, “You can judge an establishment based on the quality of its restrooms.” To be fair, I was commenting on one of my grandparents’ favorite burger joints rather than a university, but I feel that the point still stands. Cleanliness in a place that’s not immediately visible is usually an indication of that facility’s an overall level of quality control.
In related news, one of the very first restrooms I ever visited at TU had no doors on the stalls. I was a wee freshman baking outside in the August sun during marching band rehearsal and had to take a break after some classic Pat Case Dining Center burritos for lunch. Usain Bolt himself couldn’t have outsprinted me as I took off for Mabee Gym, but it almost wasn’t worth it when I got there and found myself staring directly at a nasty discolored linoleum bowl instead of a door. Look, I know some people call the toilet their throne, but that doesn’t mean it should be visible to everybody!
Mabee Gym is only the most extreme example of a bathroom that could use a serious makeover, at least after the disaster zones that used to exist in Kendall Hall were renovated two years ago. Chapman Hall has restrooms so cramped you could smack somebody washing their hands in the back of the head when you swing the door open to walk in. Keplinger’s look like prisons, complete with rusty urinal separators ready to fall off the minute anyone brushes against them. Oliphant got rid of separators altogether (in addition to having those urinals that stick way out from the wall) because, and this is true, oil magnate A.G. Oliphant is on record bemoaning “the lost art of talking to another man while he’s peeing.” Crazy stuff, right?
I’m fully aware that TU has all sorts of other issues and budgetary concerns that are more pressing than the bathrooms, which, at least in most cases, are still fully functional. Still, having facilities such as this reflects poorly on the image of the school. We shouldn’t have to just accept it and move on.