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In Which We Cruise The Campus Bathrooms


In high school, the bathroom was for smoking joints and frantically scribbling trig equations on the bottom of your shoe as the late bell rang. In college it’s pretty much for going to the bathroom—except during finals, when it’s for staring dead-eyed at yourself in the mirror, reciting the periodic table, and now, a study break! But which campus lavatories are worthy of a visit? Bwog Tongue-in-Cheek Expert Chloe Eichler investigates.

Pupin Hall 10 (Men’s)

After seven floors of ordinary gray tiles and squeaky stall doors, Pupin begins to reveal its hidden foppery. The top six floors boast alternating men’s and women’s lavatories with the best views and most inventive décor of any public bathroom on campus. Archimedes, Newton, and Galileo can be found hanging above the urinals to provide that extra bit of inspiration, while fairly questionable prints of well-dressed Austenian ladies adorn the women’s. There are also desks, vases of bamboo, and the sketchiest-looking mattress this side of your old Carman double to be found. The tenth floor gets the win for featuring a wineglass full of water that’s probably been sitting there longer than you’ve been alive.

Uris Ground Floor (Women’s)

Of course the graduate students have the biggest, least-likely-to-take-your-crap-(not-that-kind-of-crap) bathrooms around. The ones on the ground floor, with their endless rows of stainless steel stalls, long marble counters, and actual working soap dispensers, might belong better in a fancy international airport, or the Taj Mahal as reinvented by robots. The women’s room has a separate changing room that’s nicer than your first three apartments will be. There’s even an extra faucet in one of the sinks that dispenses fresh drinking water. It’s enough to make one resentful of business students, if not for that bother about Wall Street in the news lately.

Lewisohn 6 (Men’s) and Basement (Women’s)

These bathrooms are more notable for the insight into the custodial world they provide. Peek behind the frosted glass doors in the sixth floor men’s room to discover the secrets of a genuine makeshift utility closet—See what that horrible lime green soap looks like in when it’s in a pouch! Take out the ladder and attempt to set it up! (It’s really difficult.) When you’ve meddled enough, hit the basement women’s room to study the building power switchboard that someone has foolishly left unlocked. One of the switches is marked “Men’s dressing rooms,” whatever that is, but the most emphatically guarded by far are the vending machine switches. “DO NOT SHUT OFF.” Who would? 

Earl Hall Basement

Don’t try to get into the footbath room unless you’re in the MSA, ’cause it ain’t gonna happen. 

Dodge Hall 7

Ladies and gentlemen: your ultimate refuge. Though spacious enough for two or three, this unisex bathroom holds only one stall, one sink, and one gloriously enormous mirror, bathed in light from the window overlooking College Walk’s blooming cherry trees. This entire floor houses the Music and Arts Library, which is low-traffic and displays books about Mozart and Eminem in the same case. And the trim is an attractive black tile! Lock the door, open the window, and settle in to…do whatever it is that so dreadfully requires privacy.

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20 Comments

  • Everyone's says:

    @Everyone's gonna be POOPIN in PUPIN!

  • china? says:

    @china? china?

    1. ... says:

      @... Indeed, China.

  • ummm says:

    @ummm it’s Carman, not Carmen

  • oh no says:

    @oh no now everyone knows about dodge 7!!!

  • try says:

    @try try the bathroom on the 1st floor of Low.. marble…

    1. word says:

      @word those were the first bathrooms i did my shit in at columbia…never had a more luxurious shit here ever again

  • great says:

    @great post

    classic, bwog

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Good God, I initially thought this was a Bwog article about actual cruising (i.e. searching for anonymous gay sex in restrooms, among other locations). That was a bit of a mindfuck.

  • I can't believe says:

    @I can't believe the McBain bathrooms didn’t make this list!

  • UNPLEASANT FACT says:

    @UNPLEASANT FACT The Schemerhorn bathrooms are a popular hook-up for gay males in the neighborhood to hook up anonymously.

    I’ve learned first hand to hold it in last semester.

  • Call says:

    @Call Your mother.

  • cannot. says:

    @cannot. The ladies room on the ground floor of Kent. There is a sitting area with a couch.

  • hahaha says:

    @hahaha Great post. really funny and helpful.

  • The Eye says:

    @The Eye Pupin 11th Floor Ladies Room featured in the style section of The Eye: http://eye.columbiaspectator.com/article/2009/04/22/spot-differences

  • most says:

    @most disappointingly titled Bwog post EVER.

  • 123213210 says:

    @123213210 What about St. Paul’s? How bout some sacred piss?

  • come on now says:

    @come on now what about Philosophy. The bathrooms on the entry level floor… come on!

  • cleanest bathroom ever says:

    @cleanest bathroom ever has got to be the basement of St. Paul’s. Elegant fixtures, good condition paint, nice sinks, and a pleasant smell every time. It’s the only bathroom I’m willing to take a shit in besides Lewisohn 2nd floor post-cleaning ~3am.

    /I see #16 beat me to it. Well, consider this a concurrence.

  • ECX says:

    @ECX Here’s a free tip for those of you living in EC next year.

    If your suite bathroom is tied up (perhaps by some freshman puking in your toilet) and you don’t want to bother a neighbor, there are public bathrooms on the 2nd floor– from the elevator, go through the piano lounge. There’s also a CPS office and two cnet terminals.

    And the bathrooms in the article are only the “turtle’s head” when it comes to quality. Those of us with the real goods are not going to give it up that easily, sorry.

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