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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A lavatory story: Women’s edition


A women’s bathroom sign as a lighthouse silhouette. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano (She/Her) / Mass Media Staff.

When you think of UMass Boston, maybe you think about the classroom, where to eat or the best hallway to walk down to avoid Bobby Beacon—I mean, that stalker that insists on tracking you down. What about the bathrooms? Being a senior, I have silently judged the bathrooms throughout the campus for years and have always pondered over which ones are superior. Well ladies, having been around the block a few times, I’ve taken note on which bathrooms to hit up and which to avoid like the bubonic plague. It seems only fair that I share this pertinent information with you.

To begin with, Campus Center bathrooms are adequate. Depending on the time of day, the women’s bathroom on the upper level can be peaceful due to it being one of the few locations on campus where one can attain absolute silence. You can let your troubles melt away into the calming meadows of tranquility. In solitude, you will find serenity. Essentially, this is bathroom nirvana.

McCormack bathrooms are, for the most part, all right; however, I have an extreme hatred for the one on the first floor by the entrance. One of the doors will slam shut with such obnoxious force that I cringe every time. It must be some kind of vengeful poltergeist or something playing tricks on me—I swear! The moment you let go of the door, “BAM!” It scares the bejesus out of me when all I’m trying to do is use the bathroom in peace. I’d be careful not to stink the place up too bad because that poltergeist might not stop at harmless, little tricks next time. Just food for thought.

The residence halls, from what I remember, have average bathrooms. I didn’t have the luxury of a private bath, but surprisingly the communal bathrooms weren’t half bad. Sometimes riddled with white claws, but other than that, nothing too atrocious. It’s not like there were any up-and-coming Walter White’s using them as their personal meth labs or anything…at least not when I was there.

When it comes to Healey, the eighth floor women’s bathroom is honestly a great choice for complete privacy. I rarely have other people in there with me and it’s kind of nice. Definitely a hidden gem of a bathroom. However, unlike Campus Center, this bathroom in Healey is definitely more out of the way. It’s worth it if you are willing to make the long and treacherous trip through McCormack, down the construction path, up some stairs, through another walkway and into the library. Hey, maybe that trip will help that Dunk’s coffee digest, and this bathroom will be the answer to your prayers to finding somewhere quiet to do your business.

Now, Wheatley deserves its own portion because if you know, you know. Um…they are bathrooms, that’s for sure. There is a certain foreboding quality about Wheatley that extends to the women’s bathrooms. There is one on the fourth floor that is quite the sight to behold. One of the toilets continuously flushes and sounds like a raging whirlpool sucking down a whole circus of elephants, clowns and everything in between. It’s nuts, but at least the toilet has a knack for theatrics.

There’s also a hole in the ceiling overlooking two stalls and I try not to stare too long at it. Honestly, it kind of freaks me out. I just imagine something falling out like rats, creepy crawly bugs or even a janitor working on the pipes up there. Take this as you will, but I’ve heard that if you stare too long into that menacing dark hole, you may lose your mind. These are just rumors, but apparently there are women who have experienced mind altering phenomena. Words of advice: do not stare into the void. It’s for your own good, ladies.

The bathroom near the main entrance isn’t bad. It’s a bit cramped, but has a decent amount of stalls. It feels like when you’re in a grocery store trying to walk down an aisle but there are like, ten people blocking your way so you do that awkward “which way are you walking” move. Then you finally get to the part of the aisle where the tomato sauce is, but when you go grab the sauce, someone’s cart is blocking the shelf. You’re beyond frustrated at this point and you just want that sauce because you’re trying to make a lasagna, but the dark forces of the universe are standing in your way. This scenario describes perfectly what it’s like to use this bathroom on a busy day.

Each building can be hit or miss bathroom-wise, but if I had to pick my favorite, I truly think it would be the dilapidated bathroom on the fourth floor of Wheatley. This is based simply on the fact that it’s the one I use the most when I’m on campus. It sort of has a special place in my heart, if you know what I mean? Although, the previously mentioned Healey Library bathroom on the eighth floor is a clear runner up. The vibe is a bit creepy, but also peaceful at the same time. It’s always kind of dark in there, but it serves its purpose, so I won’t complain too much about it.

On a serious note though, huge respect to the workers who do what they can to keep our bathrooms clean. Some of the things they have to deal with are straight up disgusting, and I’m sure the same goes for the men’s bathrooms. They’re not horrendous by any means, but they all have their unique qualities. I have the utmost respect for the staff who keep those occasionally peaceful spots clean and functioning. They have to pick up after a bunch of adults—isn’t that something? So, clean up after yourselves, ya know? Even though they are “just bathrooms,” be respectful of the space.