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Power Ranking The Best And Worst Bathrooms On Campus

Do Not Enter, Arts Fest

It’s no secret that Penn State is a large university that hosts thousands of students and visitors each day. Each week sees students that live both on and off campus spending the day in academic buildings doing work and studying for tests. When you’ve spent the day going to classes and eating food from the dining halls (which are notorious for creating strange bowel movements), it becomes inevitable that at some point in the day you’ll have to go to the bathroom on campus.

While everyone seems to have a favorite on-campus bathroom, no one location has ever been identified as the definite front runner. However, there are clearly some places rumored to be more luxurious than others, and are definitely some places you should avoid like the plague.

DISCLAIMER: The following power ranking of bathrooms only includes on-campus buildings. Everyone knows about the cesspools that are are fraternity and bar bathrooms; including them in the list simply wouldn’t be fair. Likewise, any given bathroom’s conditions may vary depending on the day. Some days, the inhabitants may choose to actually flush the toilet and refrain from leaving shreds of toilet paper on the floor, while on other days it’s a free-for-all. That being said, this list ranks bathrooms based on how consistently clean or dirty they are. All bathrooms pictured are women’s restrooms, which may also affect how certain bathrooms are maintained. Without further adieu, here are the best and worst bathrooms of Penn State:

The Worst

6. Anywhere In The Pattee And Paterno Library

Although the library stalls aren’t necessarily unclean, the fact that this building is one of the most heavily trafficked areas on campus takes a toll on its bathrooms. You can smell their distinct musty smell all the way down the hall. If you frequently inhabit the library, then you may have become immune to this smell over time because it is constantly hanging in the air no matter the season or time of day. Likewise, since there are usually one or two bathrooms per floor in the library with only a few stalls, there is always a line, so you can forget about getting any privacy. Also considered in the rankings is the sickly shade of pink that this bathroom is painted. Staring at it for too long can definitely mess with your psyche.

Library Bathroom Library Toilet

5. Osmond Lab

The Osmond Lab is one of the older buildings on campus, which you can see by looking at its bathrooms. First of all, the heat seems to always be turned up in this building, making the bathroom experience even less enjoyable. Something about Osmond makes even normal, law-abiding citizens forget how to flush a toilet. Seriously, I have never had an experience in the Osmond women’s bathroom where there hasn’t been at least one unflushed toilet, which probably definitely accounts for the smell of stale urine which permeates the room. Even the color of the stall doors puts this image in your head. If you are in Osmond, it is highly recommended you walk across the street to the HUB to use those bathrooms instead. Despite the HUB also being a high-traffic area, the staff seems to know this and keeps up with the restrooms so they never get to quite the same level as the ones in Osmond.

Osmond BathroomOsmond Toilet

4. Forum Building

The Forum Building is constantly in use; on a typical day the four lecture halls in this building have classes of 300+ moving in and out every hour. For some reason, the architects who designed this masterpiece decided it would be prudent to only have three stalls put in the bathroom to accommodate the thousands of students that come through each day. The cramped bathroom gets even worse in the winter when everyone needs a tissue, thus filling the floor with used paper towels and no standing room. This bathroom always has a line, so forget about using it if you are in a hurry to get to class. Likewise, the big gaping cracks in the doors allow you to bond with other students waiting in line as you make awkward eye contact through the stall doors.

Forum BathroomForum Toilet

3. Willard Building

There is no two-ways about it. Willard bathrooms are terrible and everyone knows it. Always hot and smelly, this bathroom sees hundreds of students each day and shows it. A common problem in Willard is that people don’t know how to rip toilet paper, thus causing the shreds to fall on the floor and stick to your shoes. Most of the doors don’t have hooks for your backpack, so that means you have to put it on the floor, which is visibly disgusting. An added bonus of going to the bathroom in Willard is waiting in line until a stall finally opens up that doesn’t lock, forcing you to either hold it closed yourself or ask a fellow bathroom-goer to hold it shut for you. So basically the only good thing Willard bathrooms have to offer is the opportunity to make friends over a malfunctioning stall door or lack of toilet paper.

Willard Bathroom Willard Toilet

2. Any Communal Dorm Bathroom

Everyone has experienced it at some point. Single-ply toilet paper, balls of hair (both from your head and other places) on the floor, toothpaste and half-eaten food in the sink, all types of bodily fluids in the stalls, and having no paper towels to dry your hands are just a few things dorm bathrooms have to offer. There’s always at least one other person in there with you — even at 5 a.m. The things you see and hear in your freshman dorm bathroom is an experience that should never have to be repeated. If you’re studying with a friend in their dorm, you’re honestly better off holding it in and risking some wet pants.

McElwain Bathroom

McElwain Toilet

1. Beaver Stadium During A Football Game/The Bryce Jordan Center During THON

Any time huge numbers of college students are drawn to one area, the bathrooms there are bound to have a bad time. Football games, especially rainy ones, leave the bathrooms a wet and sticky mess. During the warmer games, the bathrooms can get extremely humid and gross, making it hard to even pull up your pants. During the winter games, people flock to the bathrooms because they are the only enclosed area nearby with even the slightest amount of warmth. This causes the bathrooms to overcrowd and you’ll end up waiting half an hour for a stall. Likewise, the toilet paper is always hard to rip and there is almost always some sort of liquid on the toilet seat. The BJC bathrooms during THON see a similar horrifying situation. People trapped in the BJC for 46 hours use the bathroom as an escape to sit down for a few precious seconds, making it hard to get in. You’ll see people changing out of their smelly clothes in the stalls and girls doing their makeup and using the sinks as a makeshift shower. During sporting events and THON, the bathrooms become a savage free-for-all and it’s every man for himself.

The Best

6. The Pasquerilla Spiritual Center

If you’re on the northwestern side of campus, the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center is for you. The building is infrequently inhabited by students but is always open for visitors. Although there is nothing necessarily special about these bathrooms, you’re always guaranteed no wait and a clean stall. An added bonus to these bathrooms are the toilet seat covers that are available in the stalls, adding another level of cleanliness to your experience. The Spiritual Center offers a room for foot-washing to accommodate certain religions, and has signs up in the regular public bathroom asking that only hands be washed in the sinks, so you can be sure those are clean as well.

Pasquerilla Bathroom

Pasquerilla Toilet

5. Forest Resources Building

Located in a remote corner of campus, the Forest Resources Building offers an alternative for the students living in East Halls. An absolutely beautiful building itself, the Forest Resources Building has walls made of hardwood paneling and huge windows overlooking the side of campus facing the Arboretum. The wonderful building has wonderful bathrooms to match — the stalls are very clean and spacious and there is never a line. The building is a great place to set up and study for the day, because you can be guaranteed a clean bathroom just a few steps away.

Forest Resources Bathroom Forest Resources Toilet

4. The Palmer Museum of Art

Although this bathroom only has two stalls to boast of, this is outweighed by its numerous other benefits. The bathroom on the second floor is located in the middle of the museum and is disturbingly quiet. The bathroom is kept meticulously clean — everything is glowing white and sterilized. If you make it into this bathroom, there is pretty much a guarantee that you’ll be granted alone time. Since the surrounding area is an art museum, the bathroom is slightly isolated in order to muffle the noise of the flushing toilet. The bathroom is so isolated and quiet and clean, it is the perfect place to go if you need time alone from your annoying roommate. So if you’re looking for a solitary place to have a good cry over exams, the Palmer Museum bathrooms are your safest bet.

Palmer Museum BathroomPalmer Museum Toilet

3. The Biobehavioral Health Building

A beautiful building and a great place to study, the BBH Building also offers wonderful bathrooms. Along with the bathrooms on the second floor being nearly empty and extremely clean, there is another unexpected level of luxury added when you look at the sink. Those who work in the Biobehavioral Health Building know how to live large: they included a basket on the sink which had moisturized tissues, a copy of the New Testament of the Bible (for a little light reading), spray deodorant, hand sanitizer, hairspray, and lotion. If you are having a rough day and seriously need to freshen up, the BBH Building is the place to go.

BBH BathroomBBH Toilet

2. Old Main

Almost no students go into Old Main, which is probably why the bathroons are so nice. Honestly, the few times I’ve been in Old Main I’ve gotten some weird looks. But let me tell you… It’s well worth it. The bathrooms on the second floor feature marble sinks with shiny faucets and mirrors. The restroom also has a full-length mirror, a chair, and no line because once again, no one ever goes in there. Another added bonus is the pleasant smell, which is undoubtedly due to the fact that all the stalls are equipped with their own air freshener. The bathroom is extremely clean and is a calming place conveniently located in the middle of campus. So if you’ve never been into Old Main, take a trip and give its bathrooms a try.

Old Main BathroomOld Main Toilet

1. The Millennium Science Complex

This unexpected underdog takes the No. 1 spot for numerous reasons. Barely any classes are held in the Millennium Science Complex, so there are very few students who come through on an average day. The bathroom is very white and clean with bright lights and stainless steel everything. Quite honestly, the stalls are massive and extremely well-kept. The only people in there ever are adults who have offices or laboratories in the complex. You’ll never have to worry about a line or a stall running out of toilet paper because these restrooms are so infrequently used. At the far end of the bathroom is a shower, so if things get messy there is always an option to wash off! If you’re anywhere near the south end of campus, the Millennium Science Complex bathrooms are definitely the way to go.

Millenium Science BathroomMillenium Science Toilet

This power ranking has certainly taught me some things about Penn State bathrooms; in most cases, you can generally predict what a bathroom will be like based on a few common trends. First of all, a general rule is that the older the building, the crappier the bathroom. On the contrary, the brand new buildings on campus obviously have the best and newest bathrooms. Secondly, the bathrooms that aren’t usually used by students tend to be better. Bathrooms that are designed for faculty or for the public are usually better kept and more spacious (such as the restrooms in Old Main and the Palmer Museum). Lastly, stay away from the bathrooms in high traffic areas! Buildings that everyone has classes in, such as Forum and Willard, are typically bad news. With that said, happy bathroom hunting Penn State!

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About the Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a senior from Pittsburgh, PA and a retired editor at Onward State. Currently, she works as a staff writer. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski

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