The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

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Neassa Hunt

Neassa Hunt has 6 articles published.

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Neassa Hunt is a Senior at Goucher College with a major in Communications and a minor in Nothing. She is from White Plains, NY, and likes performing stand up comedy, running and hates deer. She moved to Shanghai when she was 15, and despite years of trying it’s still the most interesting thing about her. In another futile attempt to be more than her past she writes reviews of the bathrooms on campus.

Restroom Review – Stimson Dining Hall Bathroom

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Photo credit: Neassa Hunt

I suppose it’s a bit redundant to call it the “Stimson Dining Hall bathroom” because Stimson is no longer a dining hall. In my defense, this whole review is kind of redundant as we don’t really know the future of Stimson, but it’s my last review of the semester. Probably my last review EVER since I’m supposed to be graduating in December. So, I can do what I want with it and I want to do Stimson. Also, there’s a dorm review in this edition of the Q and if you (the reader) have IBS or else just live in Gamble 2 and need to use an assortment of other restrooms and you want to take this bathroom torch out of my cold dead hands, feel free. You don’t need to be a writer — I’m certainly not one.

Just like Stimson, I’m unsure of my own future outside of college. Stimson was the dorm that welcomed me into Goucher and it only seems fair that it ushers me out as well. It was also the bathroom that first inspired these reviews in the first place. Not because it was particularly lacking, but because one stall (my favorite stall) was missing a hook. And it always frustrated me, even though there were two other perfectly usable stalls with hooks in them. Well, the third one wasn’t entirely usable, but we’ll get to that.

The Stimson hall bathrooms are divided by gender so for the sake of this review, I will be covering the women’s room. (Apologies to male and gender-neutral students.) Assuming you are using the Stimson entrance with the vending machines, go straight up those three little stairs in between the two sets of food and beverage vending machines and on your right is the men’s room and then the women’s. Sometimes the lighting is a bit dim in the entrance.

Normally, privacy would be the first thing discussed, but for Stimson, the most important thing is the SMELL. Stimson, the building, has a smell to it. Not just the bathroom, not just the dorm or the dining hall, the whole building. Now, I lived in Wagner for two years and I’ve adjusted, so now I can barely register it. But for the uninitiated, the smell can be a little overwhelming. I’m not going to dock points, but I am laying out a warning. This is a three-stall bathroom so there’s nothing stopping another person from coming in, but I started using this bathroom in the first place because most of the time it’s pretty sparingly used by other people. Even when this bathroom was servicing an active dining hall, there were times you could find privacy in this room.

The décor is nice. It’s very tan but welcoming. Checkerboard tile floor. The walls are kind of the same ones that the post office has, but with the addition of tan tile layered on top of it to negate the “Russian High School” look. Two sinks with a fair amount of room for placement. Mirrors above each sink. Although I don’t think the pictures that I took convey it properly, the lighting is very gentle. The third stall has a Tork brand toilet paper holder (the sloped kind you can’t rest things on top of) as compared to the other two stalls which have the SCA flat top brand. The second stall and the third stall have a hook, but as previously mentioned, the first stall doesn’t have one.

For an acoustic note, there is a fan built into the wall of this bathroom. It’s above the toilet in the second stall. I like it, but I could understand if someone found noise it makes to annoying or creepy.

Stimson has some fun extras: four vending machines (two beverage and two snack) and a ping pong table. The ping pong table used to be a negative as I didn’t love having to walk past a bunch of people, but now that the table is in less constant use, there’s less people to deal with and it’s more of a neutral extra than anything.

Personally, due to nostalgia, and the fact that this bathroom has helped me out of a jam or two, I would give it a 10/10.

But I think I need to be a little bit more objective and say that for everyone else this bathroom is probably going to rate closer to an 8/10.

Restroom Review – Dorsey Center First Floor (Aka the Post Office Bathroom)

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Photo credit: Neassa Hunt

By now, I feel like most people have something of a grasp on what I look for in a bathroom. If you don’t, they are as follows:

Privacy: Can I be alone?  

Hours: When is this bathroom open?

Cleanliness: Is this bathroom clean?

Acoustics: Does sound travel in or out of this bathroom?

Decor and/or lighting: Is this bathroom well lit? Do I like what I’m looking at? Do I feel at home?

Hook/Shelf: Does this bathroom have a place for me to put my stuff?

And Extras: Extras can be anything from vending machines to water fountains to a bunch of people playing ping pong around the corner. They were originally only positive things (water fountain) but slowly grew to incorporate negative aspects (like if there IS a water fountain but it’s not very good) and eventually became negative extras as well (ping pong players).

But when I started this, there was a secret ninth aspect that I took into consideration. Now that it’s REALLY starting to get cold, that ninth aspect is important once again, and it’s distance. How far do I have to do go use this bathroom? When it comes down to it, sometimes closer is better. Especially when it’s windy.

That being said, this week is the post office bathroom.

In case you don’t know where this bathroom is, go past the student lockers and make a left. You’ll see a single room gender neutral bathroom, and a multi-stall women’s room. I have no idea where the men’s room is. For the sake of privacy and equality, I will be covering the gender neutral bathroom this week. Although, the women’s room has some interesting extras that I may or may not include (that’s not me teasing information; I’m actually not sure if I’m going to write that part yet).

The post office is VERY private at night and only somewhat private during the day. But because of the way the room is set up (it has a kind of mini hallway INSIDE the room), even on a bad day you can have the illusion of privacy. The room is pretty large even without the hallway, so size is no problem. The decor leaves a lot to be desired. I know a few people on campus who don’t prefer to use this bathroom because it has “basement energy without technically being in a basement,” which is true. It feels a bit like a bathroom in a high school or a government building with the tan painted walls and red tile floor. The acoustics are somewhat lacking (more sound goes out then comes in) but I’m beginning to believe that my way of testing the acoustics isn’t exactly without fault. Even if my methods aren’t the best, it’s still echo-y in there.

Despite having “Basement Energy,” it doesn’t have basement cell service, meaning your phone should work fine. Dorsey is pretty darn clean. These bathrooms are cleaned in the early morning, so the later in the day you use this one, the more you’re risking things. (It’s clean enough that you aren’t really risking much.)

What really stands out to me with this one is the amount of space to place/hang things. There are two hooks on the door and white metal shelf. There are many options for placing things off of the floor. Especially considering this is the bathroom you would be most likely to use after picking up a package, having that shelf is major points in my book.

Anyone who has ever rushed over to get a package you forgotten about in the middle of the night knows that Dorsey isn’t always unlocked. I don’t have an entirely clear grasp on its hours; to write this article, I got in with my OneCard just before 10:30 p.m. But when I needed to get in to see a package the night before at 10:50, it was locked in such a way that my OneCard was of no use to me. So, closing time is somewhere in that 10:30 p.m.-10:50 p.m. range. Opening time is somewhere in the 7:00 a.m.+ range, but I used the upstairs entrance, so it might be a bit off. Dorsey doesn’t provide 24-hour access, but I think that’s a generous enough timeline for both receiving your packages and using its bathrooms.

Lighting was always very important in my original notes on bathrooms, but it eventually became less important and kind of got slotted in with décor. After using the Mary Fisher basement bathroom the other day and finding out that those lights make me look like the goddamned Crypt-Keeper…lighting has become an important factor once again. Dorsey isn’t exactly killing the game with its high school classroom fluorescents, but it has a light switch on the wall and they’re a bit gentler than the Mary Fisher lights were.

Extras: The main attraction is the ability to pick up packages and buy stamps and such from the post office. There are also some vending machines if you, like me, want to make some bad decisions for both your health and your wallet. If you are a woman, then the women’s room next door has some interesting perks for you. There are a variety of interesting soaps and lotions if you would like to wash your hands a second time with something a little extra. Kind of makes me feel like I’m at a Broadway show or mid-range restaurant—it’s nice. Also, if you have a baby or need to pump breast milk, there’s a tiny room in the women’s room for you to do so. (Like, it’s designated as such, and it has a nice chair and a lamp in there.) Extras aren’t necessarily just about the additions that benefit me personally.

I’m very happy with the Dorsey Center gender neutral bathroom and I give it an 8.5/10.

Restroom Review – Mary Fisher Basement Bathroom

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Photo credit: Neassa Hunt

This review is going to be about the Mary Fisher dining hall bathrooms. No, not the ones in the dining hall. The ones in the basement. Past the cash register to swipe in on the right. Take a left and you’ll see three bathrooms: men’s, gender neutral, and women’s. For this article, I will be covering the women’s room, which is a multi-stall restroom, rather than the gender neutral, which is a single room.

Mary Fisher and I did not get off on the right foot. Both the bathroom and the dining hall. I’m not one to run lovingly into the arms of change. But we’ve grown into something of an understanding together. The grey tile from the lobby of Mary Fisher continues into its bathrooms. The tile is white, but there’s this wavy-like, 3D tile that provides the backsplash for the sinks and toilets. It’s all very modern.

Six stalls, two sinks, one Toto hand dryer and, to my eternal ire, no paper towel dispenser. One of the stalls is out of commission right now and the big stall on the end’s door is shut in such a way that is always looks like its occupied but it’s not. The counters have plenty of space, but they are the kind that get wet and stay wet very easily (another thing that having some paper towels could improve). So, I wouldn’t recommend placing anything there. There is a trash can in this bathroom, but for what reason I don’t know. Certainly not to throw out paper towels.

Now this is a multi-stall bathroom in a building that has become the one single dining hall on a campus where there used to be three. What I’m saying is that it’s not going to get top marks for privacy. That being said, despite those things, I managed to be very alone in this bathroom. I can’t tell if everyone is just upstairs in the dining hall or if people just don’t know about this one yet. It is kind of hard to find. I would say that as more people learn there is a bathroom in the basement it may become less private, but when that does happen, the single stall will still exist, I suppose.

Now this dining hall does close but the building often has a door left slightly ajar. Just make sure to LEAVE it ajar for the next person. Plus, this bathroom is near construction. I don’t know if there are plans to renovate or at the very least just re-open the Gopher Hole, but if/when they do, the hours are going to change rapidly (as well as people’s ability to get into Mary Fisher without having to go back outside once they’re in that little hallway).

This bad boy is pretty clean, aside from the counters obviously. When I first started doing research for this article — I know right; I have to do RESEARCH for these BATHROOM articles (don’t worry, not hardcore; nothing about me or what I do is hardcore) — but when I first started doing research, there was a smell. Well, there were two smells. One was just me adjusting, it kind of smelled a bit too…new. Like new car smell, but bad. New bathroom smell. It was just plaster mostly. There was a second smell. Something like a burst pipe. It’s since been fixed but it was a major factor in my poor first impressions.

Sound is mostly fine. There’s a full dining hall outside so sound is going to be an issue. The women’s bathroom is far enough down the hall that it’s less of a problem, but I imagine the men’s and gender neutral bathroom are closer and therefore have it a bit rougher.

This bathroom also has the same fated issue as the Van Meter bathroom. I call this the “basement” but it’s three steps down. Yet it’s still impossible to get cell reception. I’m beginning to think this is less a problem to do with basements and more a problem to do with my phone in particular. I will try to test this in the next review where reception is a major talking point (that’s going to be a weird conversation to have with someone). There is a WiFi router above the sinks IN the room. The cell signal issue extends to the men’s restroom as well…well I assume it does, because I also don’t have reception in the section of the hallway that the men’s door is in.

As mentioned before, the counter is not an ideal place for your belongings in this restroom, and unfortunately, these restrooms are all sporting the dreaded Tork brand toilet paper holders, the round ones that you can’t balance things on top of (side note: why did we stop using SCA brand toilet paper holders?). I will give Mary Fisher this: all the stalls have a pretty sturdy hook and the handicapped stall has one of the first hooks I’ve seen that a person with a disability might actually be able to make use of! Meaning that it’s not 9 feet off the ground. Which I also appreciate as a short person without a disability. My advice: make sure you have decent pockets or a purse or something if you’re going to use the Mary Fisher bathroom.

Normally, I would have an extras section. The dining hall is more of a neutral zone and the water fountains outside these bathrooms are AWFUL.

Overall, I give Mary Fisher 6/10*

*with the knowledge that its score could very easily go up once the Gopher Hole is open, or down if too many more people start using it.

Restroom Review – Van Meter Basement

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Photo Credit: Neassa Hunt

I really wanted to a review of a bathroom this week that was going to skew a bit more negative than usual. Change of pace and all that. After all, this column is for the secrets of the campus restrooms, but also a warning of which bathrooms to stay away from. So today I’ll be covering…the Van Meter basement restroom.

Or rather the first floor? In the elevator it’s “LL,” but I tend to regard it as the basement, with only three classrooms that tend to be used at strange hours. The basement tends to be a bit deserted. That’s not to say this bathroom is unused. There are classes, and some of the ground or second floor staff use it when the ones upstairs are doing roughly or are flooded with students. But the timing of these things means that most times that I’ve gone in alone and stayed alone for quite a while.

It’s a bit spacious with three stalls: one handicapped stall and two smaller stalls. The smaller stalls seem a bit thinner than average, so I tend to frequent the handicapped stall because it seems a bit larger than average. Given that it’s a multi-stall bathroom, privacy is not guaranteed. But an empty multi-stall bathroom is better than a crowded single room bathroom. The middle stall has a broken hook, but all three stalls have the kind of toilet paper dispenser with a flat top that’s perfect for resting your phone or your water bottle.

Van Meter is a school building, so it keeps the regular hours. There are a few ways to get around these hours (I’m writing this inside Van Meter at 11:10 p.m.) but frankly using them is kind of a pain and this is a bathroom article, not a “Nighttime Entrance to Van Meter” article. So, for the sake of argument, your access to this building cuts off around 7 p.m. Which seems plenty reasonable for a restroom.

The Van Meter basement has a lot of positive aspects but there is one VERY large flaw in it. Well, it used to be two very large flaws but one of them got fixed. It’s located in the basement. The room is very deeply set into the building, which means no windows. The main problem is that I get absolutely no cell phone reception in there (you used to not really get Wi-Fi either but it’s better now.) Which, I mean, shouldn’t be the biggest problem in the world. It’s a bathroom; there’s like one, maybe two things max you’re supposed to be doing in there. But sometimes you really need to download the next level of Candy Crush or to Google some inane thing or text your friend about Candy Crush/all your cool new Google findings and you can’t do that in the VM basement.

The other flaw was recently fixed, but it will stay with me for the rest of my days here at Goucher. Last year, one of the main lights near the paper towel dispenser was broken. It would jump and flicker like crazy. Now, I’m not someone who believes in ghosts, nor do I have epilepsy, but it’s very hard to relax when there’s this light straight out of a horror movie going off. It’s fixed now so I shouldn’t complain, but…

It’s a pretty simple décor with semi-charming brown floor tiles, but the walls are a little depressing. It’s also very echo-y, but considering it’s a multi-stall bathroom, an echo should be the least of your potential worries. Unfortunately, for sin of separating me from the internet and scaring the LITERAL shit out of me the one time the lights stopped flickering and shut off completely, I can only give the VM basement a 5/10.

Restroom Review – Haebler Memorial Chapel Bathroom

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Photo Credit: Neassa Hunt

The Haebler Memorial Chapel bathroom is perhaps one of the lesser-known restrooms on campus. Maybe not “lesser-known” but “less thought about.” Finding it alone is something of a challenge depending on what entrance you use. It’s in the basement but it’s easier to find if you use the back entrance. To avoid confusion, as there are two bathrooms in the Chapel, this review will be focusing on the first one closest to the water fountain.

Rather than talk about the positive vs. negative aspects for this week’s review, I thought I’d go point by point.

Privacy: I’ve had great experiences with the Chapel being mostly uninhabited at various times in the past. But in doing research for this review it seemed like I couldn’t get a moment’s peace in there (bad standards for a Chapel). It seemed like I was always running into Red Hot Blue or some guy tuning his guitar in the stairwell. In defense of this bathroom, most people tend to stick to the undercroft room.

The actual bathroom itself is like a nesting doll of privacy. It has two locks. One on the stall door, and one on the room door. So, two locked doors stand between you and the outside world. That’s a plus in my book.

Hours: The Chapel is seemingly always open. While I couldn’t bring myself to drag my body out of bed to check to see if the building was still unlocked at 3 am, I did have a late night on Friday, and it was still open at around 1 am.  

Cleanliness: Not much to say on this front; it’s pretty clean, especially by college standards. I can’t bring myself to wax poetically about it though.

Décor: Now THIS category was the main reason why I picked this bathroom over some of the others, even over the other bathroom in this hallway. Most places I cover don’t have a lot to write about in terms of décor, but Haebler certainly does. Powder blue tiles on the walls contrast beautifully with a dark blue floor tile. There is a vase of dying but also color coordinated flowers on the counter in front of the second mirror.

I don’t know if this would go under décor, but I don’t have anywhere else to put it. The Chapel has a. . . “church smell”? I personally enjoy it to a certain extent, but I could see how someone else would be unhappy with that aspect of the restroom.

Acoustics: The Chapel is certainly lacking in this regard as well. The piano from the undercroft, any noise from the hallway, all make their way into that room with relative ease. Sound flows out of the room as easily as it flows into it.

Stuff Holder: This may seem like a strange category but as a woman who tends to either have a purse/bag or VERY full pockets, a place to hang or place a number of items is very important to me in my comfort. The Chapel has me spoiled for space. There are three hooks in the room, one on the back of the door, one on the back of stall, and one in between the two on the wall. There’s a glass shelf over the sink, the sink being no slouch in holding things itself. Not to mention the counter where the flowers are. There are a few other places to . . . place things as well that are less traditional but let’s just stick with those for now.

Extras: This category is the small things that can’t really be categorized (perhaps “church smell” should have gone under here but the “Extras” section is normally positive things and that’s more of a neutral than a positive or negative). Paper towels are the hand-drying option of choice, which is always a positive in my book. There’s a kitchen and a piano just outside. The kitchen used to have a ton of lollipops in it but now it’s a bit lacking.

Despite the fact that I had a bit of trouble finding privacy this week in particular, and the acoustics not really being what I wanted, I just find the Haebler Memorial Chapel bathroom so charming that I can’t help but give it 8/10.

Restroom Review – Welsh Hall Bathroom 2nd Floor

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Hello all! I’m here to write a comprehensive restroom review for you. Now I know you’re thinking “why would you do that?” Well, first of all, stop hypothetically questioning me in my own article. It’s rude. Second of all, it seemed like a funny idea. Third of all, struggling with the bathrooms on campus is almost universal when it comes to college. At some point in your tenure at this institution you WILL need do something that you CANNOT do while someone else is showering (for your own sake as well as theirs).

Now I need you to bear with me as I write this bathroom review, as surprisingly this kind of thing doesn’t really exist. Even on the internet! I know, I was surprised too. It did exist on the internet at one point but has been since scrubbed clean. So, for me it’s a bit like trying to write a restaurant review, but there’s no existing record of what a restaurant review might look like.

Okay! Let’s get started.

Welsh Hall Bathroom 2nd Floor

As to avoid confusion since the basement is technically the “first” floor, the bathroom to which I am referring is next door to the piano room. Now this bathroom is not going to be one of the well-kept secrets of this campus; I’m not giving you any insider knowledge (that’ll come later). Rather than drag this restroom down with negatives, let’s talk about what it’s got going for it.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more private pissoir on campus. One room, no stalls, sturdy handrail, LOTS of room. Heck, I wonder if it’s not some kind of journalistic crime that I didn’t measure the room so I could give you the exact stats. A good-sized mirror, over a large flat sink, perfect for holding your phone or your purse while you wash your hands. Paper towels! Never thought I’d have to start putting those in as a positive on this campus. I had assumed that paper towels were a given, but all the restrooms in the new buildings just have that one single, pathetic Toto hand dryer. I don’t like leaving places with damp hands, so Welsh gets some points for that. Also, a hook on the door that can hold a decent amount of weight.

Now onto the negatives; there were bound to be some. The three most important factors to me in these reviews are privacy, cleanliness, and hours. Welsh loses some SERIOUS points on hours. I can’t deduct too much because I don’t have explicit proof of the Welsh Hall bathrooms even having hours; there was a time my sophomore year where I was very much aware that the Welsh bathrooms were closed in the evenings. The building no longer seems to close the bathrooms at night. I checked a few days last week and this week and they appeared to be left unlocked well past 9 pm.

For cleanliness, Welsh neither gains nor loses points. I’ve seen the bathroom in a varying number of states without any discerning pattern to the mess or lack for thereof. Acoustics are also a problem for Welsh. While the single room and lock give you absolute privacy, the acoustics of the room make it seem like an illusion. Sound from the common room travels very easily into the space and leaves you feeling like you’ve got a waiting room or an audience. My recommendation is bringing headphones if you can. On the bright side, I was nervous that the sound was a two-way thing, and that any small noise could be heard by the people in the hallway or common room. In my anxiety I decided to run a test. Leaving my phone running a song at a medium volume on the sink, I stepped outside to see what could be heard through the door. No sound carried! I could barely make out the song playing even with my ear pressed against the door (I’m sure I looked a sight).

Décor is also an issue with Welsh. It’s hilarious but also uncomfortable: a poor choice of mirror layout means that if you are sitting (as a lot of people tend to need to do in a restroom) you will be looking straight into a mirror opposite yourself. It’s very uncomfortable to have to accidentally look yourself in the eyes. I again would recommend bringing headphones and a phone into this restroom situation.

Overall I would say that, despite everything, I would give the Welsh 2nd floor bathroom a 7/10.

 

Photo credit: Goucher College Virtual Tour (accessed through a google search)

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