By Clark Adomaitis
Photos By Clark Adomaitis
The basement of Shepard Hall is very small, but it still has some instrument lockers and music offices. Few people ever use this floor. However, the floor possesses the largest, yet the least populated, “Men’s” bathroom in Shepard. Maximum two to three people use this bathroom at a time even during campus’ busiest hours, like Tuesdays or Thursdays during club hours.
The men’s bathroom has two indicators: a sign with a male icon and “MEN’S BATHROOM” written in black permanent marker on the door in chicken scratch handwriting. The door, property of CCNY, is vandalized by CCNY’s own facilities department, it appears.
I use the toilet. All of my shakes, sniffles, and rippings of toilet paper echo in the empty bathroom. Tragically, the stall I occupy has no coat hook. My backpack and coat litter the floor, collecting dirt particles. I am upset. My level of upset-ness increases when I see that the stall door does not lock. However, this inconvenience seems insignificant considering the amount of people in the bathroom right now who might accidentally walk in on me, which is zero.
The walls of the stall are not filthy. They do have some hand and brown liquid stains scattered around. I do not know what they are from. Interestingly, the walls to either side of me are clean compared to the inside of the door which I face. The door has significantly more stains and grease on it. This means that a janitor who enters the stall to clean might not close the door behind them. What is the reason for their haste? Not even the CCNY employee whose job it is to clean the bathroom wants to spend much time down in this creepy, old space. Conversely, I am enjoying the peace and quiet that this room offers me.
The school toilet paper is thin. I use more than three sheets to cover the seat. I cover the seat because I do not trust public facilities in general, let alone a CCNY bathroom. Knowing the facilities department here, I am sure the janitors come down relatively often, but I still do not trust the seat.
The bathroom has 11 urinals. Never, ever will there be 11 men urinating in this bathroom at the same time. What goes into deciding the amounts of toilets per bathroom? What was the reason for 11? Did this bathroom at one point experience traffic of 11 men at a time?
The bathroom’s six toilet stalls are slightly oddly spaced. Once again, 6 is a disproportionate amount. Interestingly, only four stalls have toilets in them. The other two just have empty spots where a toilet should go.
Only one toilet and one urinal had urine in it, which does not disappoint me because this number is average for CCNY bathrooms.
The bathroom has a large, closet-like wheelchair accessible bathroom. This bathroom has its own coat hook, lock, sink, mirror, and soap dispenser. It even has its own radiator and window access. One could live here, considering the amount of traffic this bathroom sees and the amenities it possesses. The only negative thing about this wheelchair accessible bathroom is that there are two large, unsafe holes in the floor that go down into the abyss of Shepard Hall. Inside of the holes are dusty pipes and nozzles. One could easily hurt themselves gravely, especially a disabled person. One of the massive square holes is directly in front of the toilet where a user’s legs would rest. As I sit, my legs dangle. I would advise users to be very careful when using this stall because 30% of the floor is missing.
If one stinks up the room, one can open a window two and a half feet tall for refreshing relief. Outside of the window, there is no mosquito net cover. Rather, there is a black metal fence that does not allow people to exit. Even if one somehow removed the metal fence that covers the window, one would find oneself in a 15 foot deep pit littered with trash, cigarette butts, and old leaves. From the pit, there is no way to escape to sidewalk level besides impossibly scaling the wall. The setup of this window, black fence, and large pit tell a tale of imprisonment.
Eight sinks line two walls of the bathroom. Again, zero people are in this bathroom using them besides me. We do not need this many sinks! Because of their lack of use, some of the basins of the sinks are dirty and dusty. The only correct amount of something that this bathroom has is the four soap dispensers and the one garbage can. The soap and paper towel dispensers are well stocked. Only one of them does not have soap. An ideal ratio for a very unpopulated bathroom such as this one is two urinals, two toilets, two sinks, and one paper towel dispensers.
The floor’s hexagonal pattern was once black and white. It is now black, white, and brown. The dirt patches on the floor would require more than a mop to exterminate.
There is no Wifi access and little cell service. Shepard Hall’s “ccny wifi” access is notoriously awful.
A few brief, positive notes: all of the toilet paper dispensers are well stocked and the toilets are all pretty clean. The trash can has a low amount of trash, which means it was emptied within the past two weeks. Large mirrors line the walls, with a metallic base that you can place your belongings on.
Overall, the bathroom is old, dirty, falling apart, and gross. The disproportionate size, amount of urinals, toilets, and sinks subtract many points from its score. However, for the unideal hugeness of this bathroom, it is very empty and calming. I find myself in this bathroom for long periods of time talking aloud to myself, having personal revelations, and clearing my head of the noise and business that I experience around the rest of school. The peace, quiet, and freedom that one experiences during long bathroom sessions in this locale make up for its inefficient use of space. 5/10