For some reason that I truly cannot explain, every single bathroom on this god-forsaken campus is different. Truly. All of them. And why? For what?
I understand that while most UVM buildings are made of brick, that is not enough to rule them as architecturally coherent. As such, it would make sense that there might be some slight variations in bathrooms between buildings. The bathrooms of Grasse Mount (built in the Federal Style in 1804), will look different from the bathrooms of Old Mill (built in the High Victorian Gothic Style in 1882), will look different from the bathrooms in Marsh Hall (built in the International Style in 1960), will look different from bathrooms in the Davis Center (built in the Postmodern Style in 2006-2007). Two centuries of bathroom architecture, style, and technology advances will produce different bathrooms.
But that does not explain the internal discrepancy of bathrooms within a building. In Howe Library, every bathroom is different. On the second floor, there is a multi-stall women’s bathroom decorated in blue. In a different bathroom on the second floor of Howe Library, there is not a single shred of blue to be found. On the first floor, one women’s bathroom is yellow-themed, while another ignores colors outright except for the dull, vomit-inducing orange stall doors and walls. And in the basement exists the worst sinner of them all: a bathroom made exclusively of disgustingly sexist pink tile with walls (also made of pink tile) low enough that you can see the upper half of the person in the stall next to you. What possible justification could be given for these atrocities? What interior designer thought this was a good idea? How many people approved this, and how can we make them lose their licenses?
Ignoring the aesthetics of the bathroom experience (though, that is arguably the most important part), the physical elements of the bathrooms are also inconsistent and impractical. On one floor in Marsh Hall, not a single appliance is the same. Every single toilet is different, with one marked as “pee only, does not flush well.” Every single shower. The sinks. The mirrors are so high up on the wall that many people can’t even see themselves in them. And the windows are always wide open, especially in the shower area. If your bathroom can barely even function as a bathroom, there’s a problem.
It is time that UVM finally takes action. They refuse to address any of the actual problems on this campus (the sexual assault, the anti-semitism, the horribly underpaid staff, and so much more), so let’s give them something stupid and petty to feel good about. When they finally announce the great strides they have taken, we can use it as fuel for the fire being lit under us all to demand UVM address the things that actually matter.
Suresh, it is time to take a stand and declare, into the public record, that “While UVM administration may be a piece of shit, students deserve to shit in peace.” Create a committee to nominate an advisory board to spend the next 4-5 years reviewing UVM bathroom standards, only to conclude that they need another 3 years to deliberate. Embrace the divine right to rule you clearly think you have and replace the chair in your office with a toilet, naming it your “royal throne.” Any time someone comes to meet with you, answer their knock with an awkward “someone’s in here!” and never let them in. Never let anyone see you washing your hands, leaving everyone guessing and mildly disgusted. Setting achievable goals is important, Suresh, and these are most certainly achievable.
The students, staff, and faculty await your compliance.