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.