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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Potty Talk: New potty on the block


Having formed some of our most cherished childhood memories at Jewish Community Centers (JCC) throughout the country (but really just Northern New Jersey, the most densely JCC-ed region of our great nation), we were excited to hear that Tufts was getting our very own JCC. Given the prevalence of IBS within the Jewish community (including among yours truly), we knew this building would be home to powerful bathrooms for sure!

When we learned that the JCC at Tufts was not going to be a Jewish Community Center and wouldn’t even have a kosher snack bar or elderly men playing basketball, we were sorely disappointed. Still, we held out hope.

The first highlight of our journey in the Joyce Cummings Center (JCC) occurred just after we walked through the grand glass doors and caught sight of a massive gray sign on chestnut paneling indicating the locations of everything important (along with the ominously named “The Lantern”), including the bathrooms on each floor.

This one building contains a whopping 19 bathrooms — making it the undisputed champion among academic buildings in our proprietary bathrooms per square foot metric whereby we calculate how many bathrooms a building has and divide that by the square footage of the building (not including the square footage of the bathrooms themselves). We estimate that approximately 70 people can use the potties of the Cummings Center at one time — an absurd statistic that underscores the administration’s dedication to student health.

The problem is that 70 people cannot use the bathrooms’ sinks — which, by the way,  have shockingly weak water pressure — at the same time. Each bathroom has one fewer sink than toilets and an astonishing one (1) soap dispenser paired with, yet again, ONE hand dryer and zero paper towel dispensers. It is not clear how the architects saw the flow of bathroom use going or if they had any vision at all.

If their hands haven’t already dried during the long wait, students will be richly rewarded by the hand drying experience. The ASI TRI-UMPH™ high-speed hand dryer offers the user a roughly 12” x 12” box where they place their hands, which are then shrouded in gentle blue light and attacked from all sides by hot air. The light then begins flashing an alarming red the moment ASI’s algorithms suggest your hands should be dry. If you try to outsmart the system and leave your hands there forever, well, the ASI team has already thought of that: the dryer shuts off after about 30 seconds.

Unfortunately, we found the bathrooms extremely repetitive. There were no nods to the programs or departments held on their floors or any sense of personalization. We hope this might change as the building grows and develops more character, but for now, bathroom-goers are here resigned to almost Orwellian monotony.

There is, however, a split in bathroom layout between the bottom two and top four floors (we did not venture into the lower level as it was still under construction). This manifests itself most noticeably in the lower floors’ slightly off-putting and surprisingly lengthy bathroom-entrance corridors.

Joyce Cummings Center Bathrooms: 6/10 — pretty run-of-the-mill but extremely clean (for now)