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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Inspecting the dirty business

Do you have a favorite bathroom around campus? If you’ve ever been disgusted by the foul, stomach-churning smells wafting through the air of a campus bathroom or the unkempt mess of toilet paper scattered across the dirty floors, we don’t blame you for being picky. From the best and newest restroom facilities on campus, to the worst and oldest ones that are still popular due to location, we reviewed a handful of UC Davis bathrooms — men’s, women’s and gender-neutral. That way the next time you have to spend an unfortunate amount of time in the restroom, you can decide which one is worth using.

ASUCD Coffee House
Next to the microwaves and the coffee line

Men’s:
Cleanliness:9
Smell: 6
Appearance: 7
Well-kept: Check
2-ply toilet paper

Women’s:
Cleanliness:9
Smell: 7
Appearance: 7
Well-kept: Check
2-ply toilet paper

These bathrooms are two of the newest on campus, and home to CoHo employees. They are also known to be some of the better-stocked bathrooms. As they are among the more desirable bathrooms on campus, the female restroom is often busy with a line of women that can lead out the door. However, looks may be deceiving as the line moves quickly and these well-air-conditioned bathrooms with their eco-friendly dual flushing toilets are worth the wait.

Information Desk
Hidden in a hallway close to the MU Computer Room

Men’s:
Cleanliness: 5
Smell: 3
Appearance: 5
Well-kept: Check
1-ply toilet paper

Women’s:
Cleanliness: 5
Smell: 4
Appearance: 5
Well-kept: No check
1-ply toilet paper

Hidden among the bowels of the Memorial Union, these bathrooms have gained a reputation as one of the secret gems of the campus. However, upon closer examination, these reporters question the validity of these claims. These bathrooms have a unique smell that seems to be reminiscent of both cleaning solution and noxious fumes. Why anyone would choose these bathrooms — unless forced to given the long lines in the surrounding bathrooms — is a question philosophers will be pondering for ages. Is a secret bathroom inherently special or better? We think not.

Student Community Center
First floor

Men’s:
Cleanliness: 9
Smell: 10
Appearance: 10
Well-kept: Check
2-ply toilet paper

Women’s:
Cleanliness: 9
Smell: 10
Appearance: 10
Well-kept: Check
2-ply toilet paper

Gender-neutral
Cleanliness: 10
Smell: 9
Appearance: 10
Well-kept: Check
2-ply toilet paper

The gendered bathrooms are undeniably some of the most beautiful on campus. Intricate light fixtures, slick doors and an altogether pleasing aroma make these bathrooms stand out among the rest. There’s one word that comes to mind when you open the door and rest your eyes on these bathrooms: fancy. Eco-friendly toilets and all the works — even their soap smells like sweet, sweet nectar sent from above. The gender-neutral bathrooms, too, offer a clean, nice, private feel.

Peter J. Shields Library
Close to the computer room

Men’s:
Cleanliness: 4
Smell: 3
Appearance: 6
Well-kept: Check

Women’s:
Cleanliness: 7
Smell: 8
Appearance: 8
Well-kept: Check
2-ply toilet paper

Beyond the rows of endless books, when your brain needs a quick break from studying and your body reminds you that nature calls, you can use these surprisingly clean bathrooms. Unlike most of the bathrooms on campus, these ones contain shiny, black stalls that give an essence of professionalism. They are averagely clean, and while used by a fair amount of students, are never crowded. As Shields Library is also notorious for long hallways, their bathrooms are no exceptions, boasting more stalls in each bathroom than most on campus.

Olson
Closest to the MU on the main floor

Men’s:
Cleanliness: 2
Smell: 2
Appearance: 2
Well-kept: Not Check
2-ply toilet paper

Women’s:
Cleanliness: 3
Smell: 2
Appearance: 3
Well-kept: Not Check
2-ply toilet paper

Busy, busy, busy! These bathrooms are always hosting occupants with their natural urges, and in doing so, leave janitors little chance to tidy up after mobs of students. Toilet paper strewn around the dirty floors, lakes of water on the counters and overflowing trash cans decorate these facilities. In the men’s bathroom, you are likely to find at least one stall, if not two, flooded on any given day. Also, it holds the reputation on campus as probably the one men’s bathroom that is likely to have a line between classes. But on the bright side of these unkempt pit stops, you can always find entertaining graffiti on the stall doors while you’re popping a squat. It’s the UC Davis student’s form of Reader’s Digest, apparently.

Wellman
Close to Kerr Hall

Men’s:
Cleanliness: 1
Smell: 3
Appearance: 2
Well-kept: Not check
2-ply toilet paper

Women’s:
Cleanliness: 2
Smell: 3
Appearance: 2
Well-kept: Not check
2-ply toilet paper

Among the more infamously sketchy bathrooms, these bathrooms do not boast a “fresh and clean” smell but rather provide an ample supply of graffiti, flyers and often broken bathroom stall doors. In the women’s restroom, one of the stalls has a broken toilet that has been covered with a large, black garbage bag for far too long. In the men’s restroom, you have what is probably the most awkward configuration of urinals you will ever encounter. Whoever decided that three large urinals protruding from the wall right in the line of sight of the main door should be punished. And in this case, an appropriate punishment might be leaving them in the bathroom for a couple hours. If the smell doesn’t drive them crazy, we don’t know what will.

MARK BURNSIDE and ALYSSA KUHLMAN can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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