A Definitive Guide to the Bathrooms of Oxy

The bathroom in the Johnson Student Center at Occidental College. Sept. 20, 2017. Los Angeles.

When nature calls, we’ve all gotta answer.

With large water bottle in hand, I undertook the dangerous but educational task of wandering around campus for an hour looking at toilets. I’ve returned to tell you the good, the bad, and the ant-infested – so that when you next find yourself on the hunt for a decent bathroom on campus, you know where to go.

Closet of Curiosities: 3.5/5

Library, 3rd Floor

This desolate little closet is a place close to my heart. The single-stall bathroom is the perfect oasis for crying and late-night coffee-related gastrointestinal distress. And its gray and dim yellow color scheme makes an admirable attempt at “cheerful.” Admittedly, it’s got some creepy qualities: the lights take a good while to actually turn on and tend to flicker menacingly, and there are some rusty pockmarks of mysterious origin on the wall near the urinal. But at least there’s a wall mirror.

Also, there’s a weird little shelf on the wall in front of the door. It doesn’t serve any apparent purpose, but I guess I’m not mad about it.

The Green Room: 2/5

Library, 2nd Floor 

Do you worry that Occidental’s bathrooms don’t make you feel enough like a 1940s movie star? Well, wave goodbye to those fears, because this bathroom has all the qualities of a dressing room with none of the glamour! Walking in, you’ll enter a small lobby-like room full of institutional furniture, which you must pass through in order to get to the cramped confines of the actual bathroom. But there you’ll find an exciting surprise: vanity lights! You’re a vision in beige, dahling!

The Dungeon: 1.5/5

Library Basement

This bathroom makes me uneasy. There is a wooden door with a blurred-glass pane, exposed pipes on the ceiling, and a locked door at the far end with a small sign reading “Circuit Breaker.” Before this visit, I had never seen this room before in my life, and I am still not sure that it actually exists. Exercise caution when seeking it, and never enter after midnight.

The Lab: 3/5

Hameetman Science, 1st Floor 

I like this bathroom because it feels science-themed, which is appropriate to its location. The walls are pale green, there’s a faint humming noise coming from somewhere, and the little air-freshener globe on the counter reminds me of a tiny planet! Points off because there are only two stalls, though. I was going to make a joke about not making space for women in STEM, but then I peeked into the men’s and saw only one stall in there, so you win this one, Hameetman.

The Arena: 4/5

Johnson, 2nd and 3rd Floors

This one’s got a Dyson Airblade hand dryer, which means it’s already a winner in my heart. And look at those orange and white walls – how sporty! School spirit! It’s nice and roomy, too, which is a plus for all of those massive lines it has to handle at noon on any given school day. And the lighting above the mirror is top-notch. Maybe too top-notch. All my pores are staring back at me.

The Luxury Box: 5/5


Widely regarded as the best place to poop on campus, this bathroom offers a sweeping view of the soccer field. You’ll feel like royalty looking down over your subjects from the porcelain throne! The tranquility of the view and the soothing color scheme will be especially helpful to calm you down when you’ve been wandering the mazelike halls of Swan for 20 minutes, panicked because you’re late for your professor’s office hours and you’ve already passed the same water fountain three times.

The Shack: Ant Hell

Treehouse, Outdoor

Upon discovering the women’s bathroom was locked and subsequently wandering into this bathroom, I’m immediately overwhelmed by its… outdoorsy ambiance. The peeling paint is a nice touch to its committed brown aesthetic, and it feels unusually humid, although maybe that’s because I just sweated all the way up the hill. Also, it smells like I’m camping. As an added bonus, there are electrical outlets on the light socket, situated too high on the wall to plug anything in – I understand that little shelf in the library better now! The sinks have been colonized by a small society of ants. One sink seems like a playground for them, another is a graveyard and the middle sink is inhabited by a few sluggish stragglers. Is this some sort of ant heaven/hell/purgatory situation? Have I stumbled upon sacred ground?

A daddy longlegs guards the door. I must leave.

The Promised Land:  Nirvana

Johnson Student Center

This place is literally glowing. Its silver stalls and neon lights give it those Narnian ice queen vibes that one so covets in a bathroom, and its secluded (ish) location makes it the perfect place for a luxury pee. Do you hate using your hands for simple motor tasks? You’re in luck, because everything in the JSC bathroom is automatic, from the soap dispenser to the fancy hand dryer (it’s another Dyson Airblade, y’all)! A beautiful end to an enlightening journey, this bathroom is highly recommended for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Or at least in plumbing.

Happy crappin’, Tigers!