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

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.

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.

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