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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Potty Talk: Pearson Part 1 — level of discharge

I have never been in a Tufts building as mystifying as the Michael wing of Pearson Hall. To get there, you need only enter Pearson’s front door, take a right and then walk down a long, foreboding corridor as the decor slowly morphs decades into the past. The architect of this wing (presumably the eponymous “Michael”) seems to have been obsessed with bathrooms. Every floor in the Michael wing’s stairwell is marked in reference to its distance from the “discharge floor.” Naturally, I made it my goal to find this discharge floor and rigorously test its bathrooms (using the scientific method, of course).

AMBIANCE

The discharge floor of the Michael wing might be better described just as the basement. Because of its position beneath many floors of laboratories, it is a bit dingy, and I was constantly concerned about the risk of another chemical spill contaminating my experience. The hallway outside the bathroom is full of random chemistry paraphernalia, seemingly placed there to ward off liberal arts majors.

Strangely, the toilet water is remarkably cloudy. This did not materially affect my experience, but it did raise questions about what experiments chemistry students conduct in these potties, and why they might need to be practicing toilet titration.

The last notable feature is a rectangular metal plate with an area of about 30 floor tiles. Not only does it disrupt the aesthetic, but it also vibrates and emits a steady hum which ensures that you will be constantly on edge. Let me tell you, being constantly on edge is not conducive to a positive potty experience (PPE). 4/10

PRIVACY

The hum, while disruptive to the achievement of potty zen, is actually useful for privacy. Auditory privacy is especially important in this bathroom because instead of normal stalls with toilets parallel to each other, the toilets here are back to back. This leads to a more intimate experience than most want.

The intimacy of the abutting toilets is strangely mixed with the public nature of a bathroom whose front door is always open. The door is not heavy enough to close itself, so I imagine it just stays wide open all the time. This would constitute a major oversight, but I don’t think that the discharge floor of the Michael wing is particularly highly trafficked, so I will let it slide. 5/10.

CONVENIENCE

Despite its obscurity, this bathroom is actually quite convenient and is a reasonable alternative to the Campus Center if you are looking for a less socially risky experience. 8/10.

HOW MANY THINGS DO I HAVE TO TOUCH

This bathroom is way too touchy for a chemistry building. Every surface requires a touch, and, much like last week, the sink needs to be periodically reengaged while washing hands. This is all especially problematic, because you cannot know what sort of science-y things have touched the hands of the other people using the bathroom. 3/10

A perfectly antisocial but dull alternative to the nearby Campus Center gets a 5/10.