The best and worst campus bathrooms, according to students


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Iowa State students shared their preferences for the best (and worst) bathrooms on ISU’s campus.

Katelyn Squiers

Among the hundreds of bathrooms scattered across campus, some restrooms live up to porcelain perfection, while others leave students flushing their expectations down the toilet. 

Students shared the inside scoop of which bathrooms to put on the bucket list and which ones to avoid. 

Marston Hall and Parks Library are home to students’ favorite campus bathrooms, according to a poll conducted by the Iowa State Daily. 

Howe Hall landed in second place, and four other buildings tied for third: Curtiss Hall, the Student Innovation Center, Beardshear Hall and MacKay Hall. 

Charles Cremault, a senior majoring in economics, favors Beardshear Hall because of its look and aesthetic.

“It looks luxurious. It looks like it’s finished in a way that it feels like a really high end establishment,” Cremault said. “I was like ‘I’m in a way fancier place than I should be.’”

Maggie Crane, a senior majoring in animal ecology, prefers the seclusion of the Science II bathroom. 

“I have never gone to that bathroom and had an interaction with another person,” Crane said. “It’s always empty, and I’m always like ‘I can just sit here for a minute in quiet.’”

Gilman Hall settles in at the bottom of many students’ bathroom rankings. 

“[Gilman’s bathrooms] usually don’t have good lighting, and they’re old and rickety and falling apart,” said Blue Murphy, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering.

Gilman’s bathrooms also require users to walk up a single step before entering.

“Sometimes you do the thing where you think you’re done walking down the stairs, and then you take a normal step, and then you, like, destroy your back or something,” said Matt Butler, a sophomore majoring in global resource systems. 

For students hoping to try something new, Carver Hall’s mens’ bathrooms contain urinals that are placed on the ground rather than the wall.

“I have never seen a urinal like this in my entire life,” Butler said. “But now you know, now it’s commonplace, so I’ve learned to adapt, and I think that really speaks to the overall innovation here.”

Many students enjoy going to the bathroom alone, including Kaitlyn Richardson, a junior majoring in psychology, whose dream bathroom would have one stall.

“I hate going in the bathroom when there’s multiple people in there,” Richardson said. “Communal bathrooms are just not my vibe.”

Others wish for bathrooms equipped with hands-off technology to avoid touching any facilities after hand washing.

“That’s the worst part where it’s like my hands are now clean, and now I have to touch the fountain thing itself or the pull thing for towels,” Murphy said. “Just let me live in peace with electronic things to do my bidding.”

Some would also prefer a greater number of gender-inclusive options, such as gender-neutral, family and single-stall bathrooms.

“It’s 2022 and even the newest buildings on ISU campus don’t all have them, and the map feature is useless… I’m tired of holding it or having to misgender myself just to relieve myself,” an anonymous voter answered in the poll. 

The bathroom is a sacred space that each student encounters during their experience at Iowa State. Whether good or bad, a student’s next college adventure could be waiting in the nearest stall.