In honor of commencement and the last ever Potty Talk, I have decided to turn my attention briefly away from Tufts University and toward everywhere else. In these next 500 words, I will attempt to review all of the world’s bathrooms that are not on Tufts University’s campus with my four-metric scale that some have called infallible. I can already hear the complaints of people who think that the earth has too many bathrooms to review them all in one column, but folks, I’ve probably spent more time reviewing bathrooms over the last two semesters than I have doing readings for class — I think I can handle this.
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).
This week, rumors flew around Tufts’ campus. Everyone could feel a disturbance in the plumbing as someone of great import was touring our bathrooms. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, was hanging out in the Campus Center trying to make new friends. In that process, she probably ended up using at least one of the Campus Center’s many bathrooms. In the wake of this monumental occasion, I chose to take on what are likely to be some of the most trafficked facilities at Tufts University — the Mayer Campus Center bathrooms. Specifically, I will attempt to tackle both the Hotung bathrooms and the all-gender bathroom.
Most Tufts students probably haven’t been in Dowling Hall since their campus-touring days in high school. Others visit frequently to pick up the newest copy of JUMBO Magazine. Whichever camp you fall into, Dowling Hall’s bathrooms are indubitably the gateway into Tufts lavatories.
As I havealready discussedthis semester, Fresh at Carmichael’s Tuesday special — cauliflower gratin — is likely to be the single most common cause of bathroom use at Tufts. This fact alone makes the Carm bathrooms some of the most important restrooms on campus.
It is possible that nobody has ever been inside Lincoln Filene Hall. Have you ever heard a friend tell you they’re off to class in Lincoln Filene? If you have, do you really believe them? This building, for all intents and purposes, does not exist. But still, as is the eternal condition of buildings around the world, it has bathrooms. And where there are bathrooms, there is Potty Talk.
Barnum Hall is known for its status as the only nice building available to humanities students, but lesser known are its anomalous bathrooms. Renovated from 2018–19, Barnum’s visionaries seem to have had a more naive view of what a bathroom could be than the rigid designers of newer buildings like the Cummings Center did. Instead of being designed for efficiency, Barnum’s bathrooms are an ode to idiosyncrasy.