By DOUGLAS DER
Even at an institution routinely derided as being diversity-deficient, few characteristics are truly shared by everyone in the student body. Common ground does exist, however — BYU has never admitted a student who does not use the restroom. Not even tenured faculty or administration can claim, truthfully, that the restroom is not an important part of their lives.
We live in a wonderful age; an age of information. Expanded information brings about expanded choice. According to Leo Buttars of the BYU facilities department, there are 520 restrooms in BYU’s academic buildings alone.
This fact may be daunting to indecisive sorts with immediate needs. Everyone seems to have their favorites, but at times proximity overrides sentiment.
In an attempt to narrow the choices and enhance the restroom experience of students, faculty and administration, I have attempted to single out some exemplary restrooms on BYU’s campus. Apologies beforehand for neglecting to mention one or more restrooms you feel deserve recognition.
The top eight restrooms on BYU’s campus (all are men’s restrooms and are listed in no particular order):
Ernest L. Wilkinson Center, bottom floor just outside the game room. The potentate of privacy. Great, spacious and always bustling, this one still manages to give visitors and uncommon sense of solitude. The stalls’ doors and walls extend almost all the way to the floor, keeping sound in and excessive light out. From your left, the sounds of the game room tease, lending the whole experience a nice jamboree feel.
David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, bottom floor, north east side. A prime spot to go to be alone with your thoughts and emotions. The attraction here is instant access. Seldom will you find this cozy little number occupied.
John A. Widtsoe Building, seventh floor, east side. The Walden Pond of restrooms. Seemingly unsullied by the touch of man (I have yet to scout the women’s restroom), this pristine privy belongs in a ‘409’ commercial. What is the secret ingredient in maintaining this consistent degree of cleanliness? Located on the seventh floor.
David O. McKay Building, north side.The unremarkable, been-there-before gender label on the door doesn’t prepare you for what’s to come. Through the door lies not just a coat rack, but and entire walk-in closet, separated from the restroom area by another door. I grapple with the silly urge to look for a coat-check person every time I go in. All this restoom needs to qualify as “posh” is a shoe-shine stand and valet parking outside. (Note to administration: This could be an as-yet-untapped source of revenue).
Knight Mangum Building, east side. The hardwood floors outside and the iron radiators inside take one back to simpler times — times when buildings had hardwood floors and restrooms had radiators. Nostalgia or something wafts through the air like something physical, almost bringing a tear to the eye and a Big Bopper song to the lips.
Stephen L. Richards building, just west of the skywalk. Audio-dynamics buffs, come to study! Aspiring tunnel singers, come to rehearse! Superior acoustics turn this into a true multi-purpose room. For some, this feature may have negative connotations, but the promise of solitude and unparalleled ventilation ensure that this is one lavatory that has something for everyone.
N. Eldon Tanner building, fifth floor, east side. The elevation element comes into play again, making 551 TNRB a good bet for privacy seekers. In fact, anywhere on campus, most restrooms above ground level are avoided by the masses. So, what separates this one from all the other sky-high squatties? Whether by design or by happenstance, a copy of the latest edition of The Daily Universe always seems to be on hand. Be it due to friendly facilities’ workers, absent-minded visitors or benevolent restroom fairies, the gratis literature is a warm touch.
Harold B. Lee Library, third floor, main hallway. Although not a personal favorite, this is the ideal restroom if you’re lonely, uncontainably friendly, or schizophrenic. Being smack dab in the middle of the busiest building on campus means you’ll always have someone to talk to. For schizophrenics, the ever-present throng of voices means no-one will catch on that you’re talking to yourself.