Dorm Communal Bathrooms

By: Rose Mannas

Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, University of San Francisco 

I know what you are thinking: Communal restrooms in my dorm are going to be utterly repulsive, but I just have to survive one year and never have to deal with gross bathrooms again. Though this could be true for some, everyone has a different experience when it comes to having communal bathrooms.

Let’s talk about the good and the bad:

The Good 

  • You never have to front money for toilet paper and cleaning products for the restroom. Budgeting in another $10 in cleaning supplies could pose a threat to your bagel commerce in the near future.
  • Always available! Usually, dorm restrooms have many toilets and showers to be used by your floor mates. Never have I ever needed to wait to use the toilet, shower, or sink.
  • It can be fun! It is a huge space to get ready for events with your floor friends. The counters span the entire space, perfect for spreading out makeup and hair tools. It a basically a giant pre-party for big on-campus events like concerts and mixers.

The Bad

  • Cleanliness. We all have different standards. For a clean freak like me, seeing hair on the countertops and drops of you know what on the seat was not pleasant. Some students can stand some paper towels on the floor while others silently cry.
  • Abusers. This includes the drunk girls going in at 4am puking their brains out in the sink which they thought was the toilet. You are bound to encounter some people who just downright abuse the opportunity to have a nice bathroom.
  • Inconvenience. At my dorm, you had to swipe your ID card to get in and out of your room and the restroom. So when you are walking from your room to the bathroom and realize you forgot your ID card on your desk… you are going to have to go explain yourself to the front desk workers.

I probably went through one of the grossest communal restroom experiences and still wouldn’t rate my overall year sharing a bathroom poorly. Someone in my building, who still to this day remains anonymous, would come in to our restroom at night about once week and poop in our showers. Now I want to let you know I lived on an all-girls floor, so it was hard to imagine someone in our community doing the deed. Though everyone, including the RA, was convinced it was a boy coming down to prank us, we were all fined for the stress it was putting on the cleaning staff.

PLEASE please please be as kind as you can be to the cleaning staff. You will see them every day of your freshman year and they are some of the hardest working people on campus. If you think that the hair on the shower walls are gross and the spit on the mirrors is disgusting, imagine being the person to clean it all up. I think that cleaning up my own bathroom in my apartment isn’t fun, and that is just the mess that I myself caused. Be kind to them because they are working hard to both make money and make you have a more pleasant dorm experience,

To sum it all up, dorm restrooms are not the most awful thing in the world. But clean- freaks beware, you are going to have to let go of some of your inhibitions about low standards. Messy bathroom people, enjoy it! But be prepared to face reality when sophomore or junior year you are responsible for cleaning your own restroom, buying supplies, and making sure your apartment guests don’t puke in the process.

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