Since classes have started up again I’ll be able to do a lot more regular reviews. While I spent some time on campus during the summer there was never really a need for me to use any bathrooms, which is my justification for letting the updates be borderline nonexistent for the last three months. So with the grand opening of the 2012–2013 school year I want to commemorate it with a review of our newly-renovated Student Union Building a.k.a. the HUB.
The HUB is kind of foreign concept to me because my first two years of undergrad were devoid of its existence as it dwelt in the purgatory of extensive exterior and interior renovation. I always knew it was there because it never got torn down but I had never been inside it prior to its renovation, not even when I visited campus for the first time the January before construction started. The fact that it exists doesn’t really mean anything to me. I’m not really sure how it will positively affect my undergrad tenure. The only positive I have found so far is that all the lame uncool people, the kind of people that wear fedoras around because they think it’s cool, will all get attracted there and not bother me with their awkward, unnerving presence in Red Square.
Because of the newness of the HUB I’ve only been in there twice, both which included prolonged stops on the floor with all the dining options to buy junk food and soda (pop? soda pop?). I took a peek around the bathrooms on that floor that were relatively close to the two places that interested me most, the Etc. marketplace which has the Trolli gummy eggs (of which my roommate introduced me to and they are the shit) and glass-bottled soda (pop? soda pop?) varieties, including Mexican Coke, and the Pagliacci joint that’s probably guaranteed to be inferior to any other dine-in or delivery kitchen location but I’ll still end up getting pizza by the slice there anyway.
The first restroom I visited was on that floor but to the right (looking from the east entrance [the doorways closest to Allen Library for those that can’t orient themselves to cardinal directions]) of the food court. This one was fairly small with no urinals from what I remember. It just had two stalls. I peed in the non-handicap one and was happy to see that it had the smart-flush toilets that flush different water quantities depending on your use. Any happiness from that observation was replaced by my next one when I saw that some dude threw up in my toilet and got some puke on the rim of the toilet. There was toilet paper and paper towels and water and stuff all over the bathroom floor as well. This is the problem with compact bathrooms in high-volume areas: they take a beating and require a lot of maintenance. Obviously the HUB’s going to take a beating the first couple weeks of class because of how new it is to everyone but this has the potential to become a problem if heavy traffic keeps up. Other than that the decor was nothing very special, although the vertical fluorescent lights are a nice modern touch.
The second restroom I visited (not used, just visited) was underneath the stairs you take from the aforementioned east entrance. It’s considerably larger than the other one I visited. After going through that short corridor that creates the two overlapping walls that block any views into the interior (I’m sure there’s a technical term for that but I don’t know it, deal with it) there’s a large area with four or five urinals and the same amount of sinks. This area also had the trash problem of the previous bathroom but since it was larger the trash was dispersed more scantily which gave it the illusion of being a little cleaner. The back right corner of it had a narrow hallway sorta deal with stalls all on the right side of it. It was an interesting design tactic to isolate the stalls in one area and in a way it sort of works to keep the smell of poop all concentrated in one area and it gives you a bit more privacy. At the same time, this might be a little too intimate of a pooping setting for some people in a pinch (see what I did there?) and it is a little awkward. It reminds me of the hallway in The Grudge where it’s being recorded and all of a sudden some black ghost appears out of nowhere and walks towards the camera and screams and scares the shit out of you. Call me a pussy but that movie scared me out out of my mind in 8th grade.
To conclude, the HUB’s bathrooms are not bad if you’re comfortable with bathrooms in a busy area and with kids wearing fedoras with their beat-up New Balance sneakers. Downsides to this are its traffic and cleanliness but these issues might diminish as time passes and the initial shock of this hip-happinin’ place on campus opens up. Three out of five overpriced slices of pizza for those two, respectively. Stay tuned for more reviews throughout the school year.