Here at the University of Dallas, we are thrust in medias res into the contemplation of human nature. Like Dante, we begin a journey midway through our adolescent and young adult lives to descend to the utter depths and ascend the heights of our fallen, yet undeniably glorious, human nature. We are forced to ask ourselves the deepest questions of our own existence and destiny.
“Will I, like Athena in her judgment seat upon the Areopagus in “The Eumenides,” uphold justice in all my encounters? Or will I end up a disgruntled mall Santa, being accused by Will Farrell for sitting upon a ‘throne of lies?’” Whichever chair of virtue or vice one may end up on, there is a universal throne warmed by both the base and the virtuous.
According to somewhat legitimate statistics, the average person will spend 92 days upon the toilet and 1.2 years in the bathroom during his lifetime. Considering its consistent yet overlooked place in human experience, it is only reasonable to reflect upon the humble bathroom as we encounter it here at the University of Dallas, the Catholic University for Independent Tinklers.
Hidden in plain sight just underneath the mall, like a secret coral reef of 1960s tiling, are the oft-overlooked bathrooms of the Fishbowl. Bowels in distress? Take a quick journey under the sea to the toilet bowls of the Fishbowl. Having found relief, one ascends the steps as a new person, surfacing in dramatic shafts of light. It’s truly an experience.
Pros: Reclusive and infrequently visited, these bathrooms remain immaculately clean.
Cons: Reclusive and infrequently visited, there’s a good chance you could be murdered in them.
The bathrooms in upstairs Haggar simply scream classiness. Right next to the Chinese wallpaper room and the boardroom, they are the official bathrooms of UD’s most hoity-toity receptions. Even if you’re an undergraduate on a tight budget, when you flush these toilets you can easily imagine that you’re flushed with enough cash to blow it on a $40 Aramark veggie tray.
Pros: Sleek tiling and golden lighting give these bathrooms Great Gatsby-esque flair.
Cons: Having to navigate awkward bathroom small talk with President Keefe is a terrifying yet an all too real possibility here.
I hate these bathrooms. Hate. Simply too small to handle the high volume traffic of students passing between classes, the chances of experiencing symptoms of claustrophobia are roughly 86 percent. And the urinals: tiny, with no dividers, and far too close for comfort … I must quote “Zoolander” and ask, “What is this, a urinal made for ants?” If you enjoy using these urinals, you are not someone I care to be in the bathroom with. Female students, though not facing urinal proximity issues, confirmed that there is a general consensus between both genders that these bathrooms are a big swing and a miss.
Pros: Fall of 2013 had some pretty entertaining stall graffiti that unfortunately has since been removed.
Cons: Everything else.
Oh Catherine, once the ivory tower of UD’s long-skirt population, look how you’ve dirtied your denim hems in the mud of scandal! At least, that seems like a proper response to the building’s transformation from a conservative freshman hall to the most notoriously progressive building on campus. Home of the Drama Department’s costume shop (they tailor skirts that hit above the knee!), a much-rumored, non-Catholic prayer room and an edgy newspaper, Catherine Hall also boasts a gender-neutral bathroom on the second floor. Yes, gender neutral, with both stick figures on the sign and everything. Luckily, one can lock the bathroom from the inside, so you can have all six stalls to yourself if you wish. Faculty from the School of Ministry are boycotting the bathroom, using instead the single, one-person bathroom on the first floor, which, it so happens, is also gender neutral.
Pros: Running into a member of the opposite sex.
Cons: Running into a member of the opposite sex.
You hate to use them, but you have to use them. These uncomfortably thin-walled bathrooms really ought to be renovated to spare those at the tables directly outside. Though streaming music is now a staple, no one wants to hear your streams coming from inside.
Pros: Decently clean, close to your table.
Cons: Everyone is listening. If you’re studying outside, chances are you’ll be disrupted by the sounds of someone coughing up a hairball.
Despite my daily morning trek from Madonna to campus freshman year, I did not know until recently of the plethora of bathrooms dotted around the Art Village. Nestled away like little fairy pools, they only reveal themselves to those pure of heart and in desperate need.
Pros: There for you when you really need to go after a DART trip.
Cons: Due to their proximity to the DART station, the chances of meeting a hobo is pretty high. Well, a hobo, art major, same difference. No paper towels, as if artists are really concerned about wasting paper.
The Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business has adopted the catchy motto “Built for Power.” As their webpage reads, “It’s about the power of developing true relationships with top business executives from around the world.” Let’s be real, international business connections are nice, but the most powerful things in SB Hall are definitely the Dyson Airblade hand dryers installed in the bathrooms. You know, the ones that are so forceful your hand skin ripples a little bit. Running at over $1,000 a pop, you know the university made it a financial priority to ensure that SB Hall is more full of hot air than a business professor’s attempt to explain the Core curriculum.
Pros: The coat hangers are a nice touch, and there’s not even an Aramark employee there to force you to use them.
Cons: Airblades are sexy and all, but it would also be nice to have paper towels in every bathroom and multiple soap dispensers.