Category: Latrine Dean

April 19, 2011 John Budnik

It is certainly that time of the year again with the snow melting and finals at a rapid approach for all of us.  Trying to balance the time of studying and the desire to go outside and bask in the sun is like taking on a second job.  Soon enough though we’ll all get through it safe and sound, but of course, not without a few restroom breaks.

This being the final Latrine Dean article for the semester I figure that I would wrap the series up with the sentiment of legitimacy that may have gotten lost as we read about aesthetic, privacy and toilet paper appeal.

I didn’t realize back in November what an endeavor the Latrine Dean would turn out to be.  More importantly, though, it was a learning experience and an eye opener.

Through the course of critiquing the restrooms that I did, it had dawned on me that we are in a luxurious position to even have a restroom critic.  There are many places in this world, including in our very own state, that don’t have the luxury of plumbing and running water to facilitate public restrooms or even a bathroom in the household.

I am sure that there are numerous socio-political factors playing into the quality, or lack thereof, of our restrooms on the world scale, far too much to get into here, but there are people out there doing something about it.

The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is an organization that a reader of mine enlightened me with.

Founded in 2001, the WTO is a global non-profit organization “committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.”  My personal favorite attribute they claim to have is to “eliminating the toilet taboo,” which is probably where the Latrine Dean articles serve a purpose on our main campus.  You can read all about them on their website, www.worldtoilet.org.

What the WTO helps me realize is that having to dispose of our human waste goes beyond the simple ten minute break between classes and a flush.  It is about the medium that we do so.  If sanitation conditions are subpar or equipment is used and outdated we expose ourselves to the risk of illness.

For the restrooms that the Latrine Dean critiqued, I doubt that somebody getting ill would be a scenario as four out of five of them scored three stars or more.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything to worry about, however.

It is absolutely up to YOU to take care of our restrooms.  If not for yourself, think about for the sake of the next person that has to use the restroom.

Simple aesthetics qualms that I ran into are easily avoidable.  The next time you have an urge to draw a phallus on the stall wall, just think to yourself that it really isn’t all that funny and it damages the restroom that you, as a tuition paying student, will have to repay and fix.

Some sanitation issues may be out of the patron’s control.  If you recall the critique of the Administrative Building’s atrium restroom there was mold found on the stall wall separating the urinals.  I wouldn’t expect any patron to clean that mold between their classes, but that is an issue the University needs to take upon with their maintenance crew.

But simple sanitation issues can be reconciled on the patron’s behalf.  If you drop a paper towel, pick it up.  If a little water or soap splashes onto the counter while washing your hands, wipe it up.  If you come across dysfunctional hardware, such as an overflowing or clogged toilet, tell somebody about it so it can be fixed as soon as possible.

Needless to say, restrooms are serious business when it comes to sanitation concerns.

Steve Lindamood, a professionally trained chef and someone who has worked in the culinary arts profession for numerous years, uses a good rule of thumb when determining the quality of a restaurant.

“If you want to know how clean the kitchen is take a look at their restrooms.  If they can’t keep the restrooms clean than they can’t keep the kitchen clean.”  He claims.

Think about this the next time you and your sweetheart decide to go out to dinner.  My advice would be to choose wisely.

A debt of gratitude is in order for the TNL staff for their help and publishing of the Latrine Dean that enabled me to speak my peace about the restrooms here on main campus.  A huge thank you goes to the wonderful Correspondent Kellie.  She was a real asset in keeping the Latrine Dean focused and unbiased to only one side of the restroom.  My final thoughts for you as we enter the crunch time of the semester:

If you have to, flush twice.

April 12, 2011 John Budnik

With a mixture of departments, ranging from Psychology to IT Services, the Social Science Building tends to facilitate just that, being social.  While in the SSB you will find yourself at a juncture of many options to choose from.  There are options such as to study in the library down the hall, grab a latte from the Starbucks downstairs, or simply go to class in the SSB.  However, using the SSB restroom on the second-floor, immediately to your left from the stairs, should be the option at the top of your list.

I don’t believe in the concept of perfection, but this restroom makes a strong case for it.

Aesthetically, this restroom is a dream.  From the sensor on the hardware to the warm beige marble-like tiles that hug the room any complaints are hard to come by.  This restroom’s attributes give off the feeling of true quality when you them in for the first time.

The space alone in this restroom encourages you to indulge in taking your time.  However, though it may encourage a lengthy visit, it also encourages other visitors, and the foot traffic may cut some of the desire for a stay.

The bathroom stall walls have a type of diamond-imprinted design, with the aesthetic appeal of stainless steel.  I couldn’t help but imagine being in a rich star’s bathroom in their mansion, as seen on MTV’s “Cribs.”  I figure rich star would be able to afford something ridiculous like stainless steel stall walls for their mansion’s bathrooms, but then again, maybe just stall walls in general.  I digress.

Aesthetics earn a solid, two-thumbs up and five stars.  I have not sufficient words to properly describe the appearance of this restroom. See for yourself.

Earlier, I mentioned the capacity of foot traffic in this restroom, and it is true.  This restroom is highly trafficked in between classes.  I must admit that heavy foot traffic is detrimental to the privacy rating, but in the case of this restroom it is not enough to ruin the overall pleasant experience.

Also, the stalls are sandwiched between two thick tiled walls.  If by chance you are using the end stall that uses the wall for privacy you will experience a feeling of shelter.  It would take a trebuchet for that wall to come down.

Privacy earns four stars.

“Standard UAA-issue Toilet Paper,” as Correspondent Kellie calls it, was once again the story this week for this restroom.  If we were to turn up the thermostat to increase the degrees of softness in our campus’s toilet paper we would probably see a huge difference in everyone’s studies for the better.  We wouldn’t need to turn the thermostat up to full blast, either.  I don’t like my bedroom to be a 110-degree hot yoga room, just as I don’t like my toilet paper to be cashmere.

Needless to say, I’m cold for the Standard UAA-issue, and we need to work towards finding a comfortable balance between these two extremes of rough and soft.  Toilet Paper earns its usual three stars.

“The restroom is a welcoming reprieve from the banal design of SSB,” reported Correspondent Kellie.

Kellie found the aesthetic value of its stainless steel stalls as well, but more so in its mirror.

“Mirror!  A full-length mirror!  This bathroom was highly functional due to this mirror,” she reported.

Perhaps there is a difference between the genders as to the value we place on our mirrors.  Whereas men may only need to flatten their Alfalfa hair, Correspondent Kellie makes it clear through her exuberance that it is the full ensemble that matters most.

Correspondent Kellie was also not as convinced of the privacy of this restroom, due to its high foot traffic.

“There is always someone to watch you fix your hair or adjust your layers,” she claimed.

She goes into detail about the causes of the high foot traffic by accrediting it to the convenient location as well as a lack of “other spectacles or places of interest in SSB on the second floor.”  Simply put, the SSB is un-deserving of such a fine lavatory.

The aesthetics of this restroom carry its rating all the way through.  I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that an astounding facility such as this restroom received anything less than the full score.  The privacy issue pertaining to heavy foot traffic in essence isn’t the restroom’s fault.  At this point, I don’t feel it to be fair or even necessary to include the toilet paper score into the final calculation now that a norm has been set.  On the “A.P.-titude” scale: Five Stars.

Final Score: * * * * *

March 22, 2011 John Budnik

The Consortium Library, a haven of silence and one of my favorite places to be on campus.  After walking out of the Starbucks adjacent to the Consortium with a latte in one hand and a Danish in the other, is there anything finer than finding your favorite reading nook and cracking open a text of Plato and his dialogues?  Well, maybe spring break on a Florida beach, but only maybe.

The Consortium Library’s second-floor restrooms, behind the elevators immediately to your right from the spiral staircase, may also not be spring break in Florida, but they are a fine find as well.

The second-floor restrooms are aesthetically reminiscent of the ISB restrooms.  The two have a similar lighting structure, with this restroom’s light fixtures gently tucked away above the ceiling and facing the wall.  This creates a fountain-like effect, distributing light across the room.  It is soft, but bright enough to be able to determine the condition.

During my tour, there was something about the transparent-green brick tiles that made me feel creative as I meditated for a minute and a half.  Needless to say, they were wonderful.

The silver stalls give the restroom a bit of a metropolitan feel.  They make you feel cool for spending your Saturday afternoon doing your English homework at the library, when you could easily be at the movies with your friends.

A real attention grabber is the white lines tiled into the floor.  For the men’s restroom they served as a gentle reminder of how far away to stand from the stall if occupied.  According to Correspondent Kellie, for the ladies’ room, they “guided the flow of traffic around the stalls.”

This bathroom is also enriched by its excellent countertops, sinks and mirrors, and its aesthetic quality easily bags five stars.

The library is typically a busy place mid-day during the week, but even so, privacy was not an issue.  The quiet hush that sits over the library exists in the restroom too.  Foot traffic was very minimal, which was surprising considering what a popular place the library is on campus.

The aspect of this restroom that really sealed the ultimate pinnacle of privacy was the angled wall in the men’s room.  When you walk through the door of the men’s room you are confronted with a 120 degree pivot immediately to your right to face the urinals.  The room becomes smaller as you approach the farthest urinal, which at this point is almost in a corner.

This wall is so central in securing the most amount of privacy, because when using the urinals you are guaranteed not to be bothered by any traffic flow from your right or from immediately behind you.  This lends to a pleasant and private experience for the library patron.  Privacy earns a solid five stars.

Plain and simple was the toilet paper for this restroom, just like the other bathrooms to the east.  There is not much to say about it, and at this point doubt grows even stronger for the restrooms to come of if there will ever be anything to rant and rave about concerning the toilet paper here on campus.  Toilet Paper earns three stars.

“It was very reflective of the grandeur of the Consortium Library,” reported Correspondent Kellie.  “It was a reminder that we are in a university.”

Correspondent Kellie enjoyed the green appeal and the good texture of tiling in the restroom.  However, a well-placed full length mirror would have enamored Kellie further with its fashion.  With plenty of wall space in the restroom, it’s a must.

Privacy in these restrooms was also a nonissue for Kellie. The large stainless steel lock on the stall door, coupled with how little the restroom is visited, gave her a very private feeling.

The ladies’ room toilet paper was just like the mens’ with nothing special.  The toilet paper dispenser did catch the attention of Correspondent Kellie, however.

“It was a very obliging TP dispenser.  It didn’t welcome my ‘come hither advances’ but it wasn’t disgruntled either.”  She reported.

If after a long day of classes and you find yourself heading to the library to grind out solid study time there is no need to fret if a certain call should present itself to you.  You’ll be accommodated aesthetically and with privacy, and I guarantee that you will not lose concentration from your studies.

Now should the Consortium Library throw a couple of magazine racks in there with a couple of old issues of Newsweek Magazine destined for the recycling bin anyway, I wouldn’t complain.  But with how high this restroom scored, to ask them to do so would just be greedy.

 

Overall Score: * * * * *

February 8, 2011 John Budnik

The word ‘Administration’ makes me think of this building as the heart of campus.  No longer where our administration works, the building itself lends a hand in the shaping of our university’s history as being the place our noble administrative personnel worked feverishly helping us all obtain a higher-education at one time. The building is…

January 25, 2011 John Budnik

Mozart.  Michelangelo.  Van Gogh.  Stravinsky. Picasso. Their art and influence bleed into the hallways of the Fine Arts Building here on main campus.  Unfortunately for their scholars, it doesn’t into the restroom they use. Walk into the men’s restroom on the 1st floor of the Fine Arts Building backed against the east wall of the…