The Mark Side of UCSB: Columnist Reviews Bathrooms. Students Have Their Pick of the Litter

Monday, April 16, 2007

Not wanting or even needing to thrash Associated Students any further this week, I was without an idea for a column. So I went to the one place where I usually get most of my bright ideas - the bathroom. As I sat there on the typical low-grade toilet you find in every Isla Vista household, I realized that the answer was right under my nose.

Most people have plenty of gaps in their schedules and live close enough that they can save their bathroom trip for their residence. But sometimes you drink too much Naked Juice, Red Bull or beer between classes that a trip to the restroom is unavoidable. This entire week I’ve gone to many of the buildings on campus to see what they had to offer in terms of tile and porcelain. The range of construction and overall functionality between the restrooms pleasantly surprised me. You’ll have to forgive me if I only talk about the male restrooms.

Going for a quick wiz may not seem to require that much thought, but many of us guys require certain conditions like at least a separation of one urinal between each user. In this case it’s best to stay away from the restroom in the Arts Building. This restroom is constructed in such a way that the first thing a person sees upon entering is a side view of the urinals. The door also has an irritating tendency to remain open. With no wall separating the sinks and urinals, I suggest using the stalls unless you want passersby to get a glimpse of you draining the lizard. The Music Building on the other hand is better designed with its urinals perpendicularly arranged in relation to the entrance. However, the downside comes from the urinals themselves, which look like haphazard toilets. They are set relatively higher and filled with more water, making splash back more likely to occur.

Sometimes eating from Panda Express may cause the need for a doozy of a two-zie and there’s not enough time to get back to your home bathroom. For this reason I will forever remain envious of the campus toilets. Their industrial strength flushes and wide seating blow every other toilet out of the water. If I ever have enough money, I’m going to make sure to install one of those babies in my house.

Location isn’t as much of a problem with stalls since they are the same in every restroom I’ve been to. I suggest staying away from ones in Girvetz for a number of reasons. These restrooms get a lot of traffic from the classrooms within the building and from around the Arbor. At any given moment you’ll come across students, professors and random campus visitors. For some reason the glory holes in the stalls haven’t been repaired. It has also been used as a set location for several student films due to its roomy and well-lit design. There’s no reason to use Girvetz unless it’s an emergency.

I applaud the maintenance staff for doing a better job cleaning up graffiti than in previous years. However, I do miss the days of reading the pretentious preaching on the stalls and the various responses to them. I can simulate the experience by bringing my laptop into the stall and reading the UCSB LiveJournal community. But as much as I enjoy seeing Livejournal user “excom” tear the other posters a new one, it just doesn’t feel the same. Past graffiti classics include the “grout” jokes written on the Davidson Library bathrooms’ grout such as “The Grouter Limits,” “Grout Expectations” and “Oscar the Grout.” Additionally, I.V, Theater’s bathroom featured this amazing dialogue between two artists:

Artist #1: “I fucked your mom last night.”

Artist #2: “Dad, you’re drunk. Please go home.”

There are general trends that can be gleaned from my research. The fancier restrooms with waterless urinals and automated towel dispensers can be found in the newer buildings as well as around the UCen and Multicultural Center. If you want privacy, try using facilities on the higher floors of a building. Although fewer people use the restrooms while class is in session, the chances of coming across people having sex in a stall at this time are much higher, so be careful. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this shit.

Daily Nexus art director Mark Batalla takes his potty breaks seriously.

Posted by Batalla at 7:40 PM  


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