Lousy Latrines: Bathrooms to avoid at Virginia Tech

By Rachel Kiser and John Battiston 

Amid the constant movement and anxiety of college life, nothing can ruin your day quite like a (pun intended) crappy trip to the bathroom.

Escaping an overcrowded dining hall, a tedious lecture or a “Fortnite”-addicted roommate to do your business is one of the easiest ways to have a quick bout of much-needed alone time as a student. Everyone deserves to ride the porcelain pony in peace, and while most bathrooms on Virginia Tech’s campus are more than adequate in fulfilling such a need, there are a few that simply don’t hold water, often quite literally.

Here are a few not-so-accommodating commodes you should steer clear of on campus this year.

Men’s rooms-JB

Turner Place, second floor

If you’ve decided to take on Virginia Tech’s most popular dining facility in between classes, you’ve already proven yourself a brave soul. However, your mettle is only truly tested if you attempt to leave one of the stalls in the second-floor men’s room (between Dolci e Caffe and Soup Garden) entirely dry. These spacious and clean compartments appear amenable enough, until you’ve finished the job and stand up and the toilet turns into a whirlpool with a ferocity tantamount to the maelstrom from the end of the third “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It simply won’t be able to contain itself and will inevitably give you your own personal shower unless you have mad pull-up-pants-and-run game. If you don’t want to get back to your friends looking like the victim of horrendous urinal back-splatter, head to the restroom downstairs (tucked behind Atomic Pizza) instead.

Squires Student Center, third floor

This bathroom is the most compelling evidence in my argument that self-flushing toilets are useless contraptions patented by Satan. Located down the hall from the Collegiate Times newsroom and mere steps from WUVT FM Blacksburg, many a journalistic mind has had the displeasure of popping a squat in this passable substitute for purgatory. If you’ve got a doozy of a two-sey on its way and you make your way here, you will be treated to a premature below-the-butt flush with every millimetric movement you make. Gotta sneeze? There’s a flush for that. Checking your email? There’s a flush for that. Texting your lousy class project group to hopelessly try to keep everyone in line? There are, like, three flushes for that. Save yourself some trouble and take a trip to the second-floor restroom behind Colonial.

Owens Dining Hall

Picture this: You’re at a table enjoying the company of friends after a long week of classes, when General Tso and his spicy chicken start to lead a surprise charge through your digestive system. You discreetly slip away from whatever “Rick and Morty”-centric debate you were just partaking in and power-walk past the silverware station to the facility’s only men’s room, all the while keeping as tightly clenched as you can. You burst through the door to find the stall on the adjacent wall vacant, and blindly, desperately perch yourself on your throne. Just as a look of sweet relief comes over your face, it is quickly replaced with the abject horror that preceded it as you look right into the eyes of dozens of passers-by on Eggleston quad. That’s right — there’s a crystal-clear, untinted, unfogged window inside what should have been your blissful getaway, and you’re the star of a peep show for which you never signed up. Do yourself (and your audience) a favor, and just make sure your system is as cleaned out as possible before you order your chicken parm.

Women’s rooms- RK

Newman Library, first floor

Walking into the library’s women’s bathroom perfectly describes the feeling of walking into the first day of fall classes. You feel hopelessly optimistic, wondering how it could be worse than last semester, until you step on a dirty tampon and realize: This is an omen, and it’s time to change your major. A library should be a place to write the first line of that 20-page paper, or abandon your hopes and dreams, not somewhere you witness a bloody crime scene smeared all over the stall door. If you don’t stub your toe on the 1-inch stoop to get into the bathroom, at least two stalls will be overflowing with the remnants of someone’s D2 brunch as you squeak around the slippery, seaweed-green tile. The yellow walls, resembling dehydrated urine, compliment the off-white sink that either refuses to work or expels water like a fire hose. If this was designed by the VT interior design program, then it might be time to pick a real career, like religious studies. Skip the Newman Library bathrooms altogether, and walk to Torgeson.

Wallace Hall, basement

I wouldn’t say that Wallace was a hidden gem, but a fun dungeon. For years, it has been a haven for forgotten fashion scholars, random English classes that couldn’t fit into Randolph, and frazzled finals fanatics who escape the masses that plague Newman and Squires. However, lurking by the elevator, and to the left of the sewing labs with windowless lecture rooms, there is thewomen’s bathroom. Despite the fact that there is no men’s room in site to accommodate the three guys in the fashion program, the smell of processed quesadillas and moldy kitty litter lingers outside the bathroom door. If you don’t get jabbed in the face by the spring-loaded door, an awkward bench lays adjacent to a 6-foot-long mirror that stars in every Wallace bathroom photoshoot. However, any fashion student knows that having the same 30 classmates and five teachers in the same intimate and awkward space is what makes this bathroom one of the most dismal dung-houses at Tech. If you don’t think witnessing your TA send a sexy pic or refusing to wash their hands makes you want to drop the class, listening to your adviser doing her business takes the cake.

Litton-Reaves Hall, first floor

Having had the pleasure of taking a class that marries corn and economics with 300 other somnambulic students, retreating to this agrarian lavatory made Litton-Reaves even worse than perceived. The 1950s pastel blue tile mixes well with the storm-cloud stall doors that hang lopsided and askew, another great style choice from VT’s finest interior decorators. Most of the time, the lock on the door is inexistent or clanks to the ground as you fumble to take your seat on the throne, so holding the door closed with your elbows is the only thing preventing some stranger from witnessing your personal hygiene ritual. However, talk of science is enough to keep any peace-seeking porcelain patron well cleared of this latrine.

If there were an official Constitution for college students, the right to a serene squat every now and again would be toward the top of the list. You work hard, so be sure to treat yourself to Tech’s top-tier toilets and none of the fiendish facilities listed here; you owe it to yourself.

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