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Davis, California

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Literary Lessons: Bathroom Reading

I have heard through the grapevine that the people who run UC Davis are pretty smart. In order to manage various student academic websites, organize class schedules and keep havoc from wreaking everywhere, they maintain a very well-organized system. One would think that with this kind of organization, there might be at least some attention paid to the basic necessities. I’m not talking about fancy golden fountains with water coming out of the mouths of nymphs. No, I’m talking about toilets. For whatever reason, UC Davis just hasn’t been able to nail it in the sanitation department.

There are a few successes on campus, but all in all the restrooms are a major wreck. I, like everyone else, need water. And then, after I consume this water, I need to do a little dance to get it out the other side. Personally, I prefer not to do this dance in public, but considering my last few experiences, the bushes are looking pretty hospitable. For the record, I am a girl, and I cannot comment on the men’s bathrooms. So bros, this article might not perfectly encapsulate your struggle, or you might be able to relate. I have no idea. Boys’ bathrooms are like the pinnacle of mystery and coolness, and one day I hope to find myself nervously locked in one with Johnny Depp after a mystifying first encounter.

In any case, I thought a creative way to discuss my disdain for UC Davis bathrooms might be to compare each one with a book. For example, take Wellman. When I use the restroom there, especially the one on the first floor, it reminds me of reading Animal Farm. It’s scary, unpleasant and does not end well. I think that whenever a girl spontaneously gets her period, it always seems to happen in Wellman — there is often a lot of blood. Also, people like to pee on the toilet seat. I don’t know why. Please everyone, stop doing this. Please. I’m really tired of sitting on other peoples’ urine. Just like the pigs in Animal Farm steal the dignity of the other farm animals, so does Wellman take my dignity every time I have to use paper towels as toilet paper because I know for a fact there will not be toilet paper in the stall. I just imagine some sinister Bathroom God watching from above, twiddling his thumbs and scoffing, “All bathrooms are equal, but some bathrooms are more equal than others.” It’s just a dark and hostile experience.

Second only to Wellman comes the CoHo bathroom. This bathroom is for all the people who don’t know about all the secret bathrooms or don’t have enough time to get to one. It’s like a book off a high school reading list. It’s a good starting point and perfect for people who aren’t all that curious about reading or just don’t have enough time to read (but let’s be honest: the only legitimate reason you have to not read is if you’re in training to go and populate Mars). The CoHo is also incredibly convenient. It’s where shit gets done, literally. People drink coffee, coffee does magic, magic gets disposed. It all happens in the undersized feeding hole we call the CoHo.

Somewhat a step above CoHo bathrooms are Giedt bathrooms. Giedt has all the building blocks of a great bathroom — lots of stalls, good cleaning efforts, well stocked. However, with all the high-tech work that was put into that building, I can’t understand one thing: why can’t the stalls lock? I say this with the risk of confusing everyone because maybe they do lock very well, and I just can’t figure it out. However, I am pretty sure that most of the stalls cannot lock! I just don’t understand! It could be the ultimate bathroom experience! It’s like Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. That could be an amazing book. It’s a good idea. However, it neither makes sense, nor can be completed in a lifetime. Just like the girl who understands the locks at Giedt, an existentialist is twiddling his mustache at me for that comment. But trust me, even Sartre doesn’t understand that book. When you ponder the consciousness of a chair, I lose my trust. Giedt, like Sartre, needs to figure out how to regain my trust.

And thusly I present to you the bathrooms of UC Davis. I recommend to the board of people who decide important matters that we can add a new facet to the University Reading List (which I think is a thing that exists). We should have copies of Animal Farm at Wellman, a copy of Romeo and Juliet at the CoHo and Being and Nothingness at Geidt. And then, instead of implementing that idea, they can figure out why a university as bureaucratically complex as this cannot even provide appropriate sanitation.


To discuss the disgusting with EREN KAVVAS, you should email her at ebkavvas@ucdavis.edu. For more in-depth bathroom reviews, check out updavis.com.



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