By Sean Denison
Your stomach grumbles, reminding you that you shouldn’t have eaten that two-week-old chili that you found in your fridge at 2 a.m. It’s telling you that you made a mistake, and you’re about to pay for it.
You race to find a bathroom. You storm past people you recognize. There’s no time for chitchat, you’re about to explode—and it’s not going to be pretty.
Your eyes spot a bathroom. You run to it, open the door only to find that the only damn toilet in the bathroom is occupied. “I’m going to be here a while,” the voice murmurs as you try to pry the stall door open.
You can’t give up now, because the only other alternative is going right then and there. Then what? You have to throw your dirty underwear away or find a place to hide it where no one will spot the disgusting crime scene you left behind? That’s not an option.
You run, butt cheeks clenched as tight as possible, to find another bathroom. You spot one, but the same damn scenario plays out. “Someone’s in here,” the voice informs you, as you’re seconds away from giving up.
Splash. Straight water down your leg. You see what not enough bathrooms causes?
A lot of students at the University of Florida have complained about the bathroom situation at Library West, the university’s most popular and most used library. I’ve experienced this myself. But I thought I would check it out so I can see what all the fuss is about.
“On any particular day, you’re lucky if you don’t have to search for a bathroom,” said Jaime Rodriguez, 24, a computer science major at UF.
Of Library West’s six floors, only four are open to the public, with the sixth floor designated for graduate students and the fifth floor open only to library staff. On the remaining four levels, the average number of private stalls in the men’s restrooms is one, while the women, who only use toilets, just have two per bathroom.
After wandering around the library for an hour, I came to the conclusion that Library West is one of the worst bathroom situations I’ve ever encountered. It’s a death trap for anyone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or anyone who has diarrhea or a small bladder.
“I sometimes have to go to the other bathrooms at the other end of the floor,” said Alec Lerner, 23. “Sometimes, I have to go to other floors,” he sighed.
To make matters worse, Patrick Reakes, the associate dean for scholarly resources and services at UF, said there are no plans to make the bathrooms any larger at Library West.
“The restrictions of walls around the location where the restrooms are located would make it very difficult to expand them,” Reakes said. Reakes said it wasn’t realistic because the project would be “cost-prohibitive.”
Isis Escandon, 22, an education major at UF, said, “Girls will say it takes too long to wait and go find another bathroom.”
This situation is not good. Library West is forcing people to hold it in, which is detrimental to their health.
The more you have to hold it, the more disgusting the outcome is most likely going to be. It will probably resemble my five-year-old daughter’s pooh-pooh after she’s taken a dose or two of Miralax. It will be a massive pile of excrement sitting on the front edge of the toilet, one so big that you’ll have to use a coat hanger to cut it up and then use some sort of stick to push the brown sludge down the drain.
Ah, what an awful site to leave for the next victim who happens to stumble into the same stall, your nightmare staring up at them as their nostrils inhale your toxic fumes.
Look, I’ll end this quick. If you happen to find yourself at Library West, make sure you scan the toilet situation like you do the exit signs in a plane. Find the safest, quickest route to your destination. If you feel something-a-brewing, you’ll have it all mapped out in your head where to go.
Problem solved. Stay safe out there, students.