Restroom Review – Mary Fisher Basement Bathroom

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.

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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