Man vs. bowl

One Spectrum editor grades UB's men's bathrooms


Throughout a given school day, the average student will probably have to use a bathroom in the Academic Spine at least once.

Though it may seem trivial, a crowded or unclean bathroom can prove to be unnerving and inconvenient for a student on the go. Many students have a special bathroom where they prefer to take care of business. For those of you who haven’t found that special place, here’s a guide to the best and worst bathrooms you’ll experience on campus.

The guide is ranked from the perspective of the average student attending classes on North Campus in the middle of the day, since that is where the majority of classes are and when the most people are on campus. Since I am male, I am only able to rank the men’s bathrooms.

The rankings follow five different parameters. The first is comfort, taking into account both the toilet bowl itself and the atmosphere of the room. The second is privacy, meaning how many people use the bathroom during the day. The third is convenience – location is important when choosing a bathroom and the greater the location the greater the convenience. The fourth is cleanliness; a bathroom’s cleanliness can be the most important aspect of a public bathroom for some people. The final parameter is simply functionality. If everything works and is up-to-date, then it gets a high rating.

Natural Sciences Complex, main floor

Comfort: 3/5

Privacy: 2/5

Convenience: 4/5

Cleanliness: 4/5

Functionality: 5/5

Overall: 19/25

NSC holds UB’s second-largest lecture hall, and the large flow of students in and out of its many lecture halls means the bathroom there gets a lot of use over the course of the day. The bathroom has an excess of open space to compensate for this, keeping the atmosphere from becoming awkwardly cramped.

All of the facilities work well and the bathroom even has a Dyson Airblade hand dryer, the pinnacle of hand drying technology. That isn’t even a joke – it almost feels like you’re putting your hand out the window of a car on a highway.

The bathroom’s central location on campus gives it a very high convenience rating and it is relatively well-cleaned as well; only some colorful stall graffiti keeps it from a 5 rating.

Student Union, first floor

Comfort: 2/5

Privacy: 2/5

Convenience: 5/5

Cleanliness 4/5

Functionality: 3/5

Overall: 16/25

The Student Union is the central meeting place for students. It’s where the SA is housed, has several food options available and is the place most clubs advertise events.

With that in mind, the bathroom – which only has two stalls and three urinals – leaves something to be desired. It is also quite cramped and is heavily used, lowering its comfort and privacy rating significantly. Very rarely will you find yourself alone in this bathroom.

Its central location gives it an optimal convenience rating and it is also kept relatively clean, with stall graffiti lowering the cleanliness rating. The paper towel dispensers are often out or the garbage pales are overflowing, lowering its functionality rating.

CFA, main floor

Comfort: 4/5

Privacy: 5/5

Convenience: 2/5

Cleanliness: 5/5

Functionality: 4/5

Overall: 21/25

This is the Holy Grail of on-campus public bathrooms. Like all sacred artifacts, there is a pilgrimage required to take in its majesty.

The Center for the Arts bathroom is out of the way of many classes for most students since it isn’t on the Academic Spine, but it is completely worth it. The high ceilings make it comfortable and having two doorways in allows for a better flow of people when it’s in high use. The best part, however, is that it very rarely is in high use. Only during events at the CFA is it actually filled. If you go during a normal day, it is empty and pristine.

This bathroom is used by many people who don’t go to UB which means it is kept in tip-top shape. You won’t find any graffiti, leaks or any other unwanted garbage.

Capen, fourth floor

Comfort: 3/5

Privacy: 5/5

Convenience: 2/5

Cleanliness: 4/5

Functionality: 5/5

Overall: 19/25

After failing to find President Tripathi’s own private bathroom, I turned to the fourth floor of Capen Hall which holds a small public bathroom tucked away in a corner. This hidden gem of a lavatory features an awkwardly long hallway that turns into an almost private bathroom.

Most of the fourth floor of Capen is offices so this bathroom sees little to no use, making it a private place to answer the call of nature. Its cut-off location lowers the convenience rating, but again, it is worth it for the privacy.

Stall graffiti ironically wondering about Tripathi’s bathroom bring down the cleanliness rating slightly.

Dan McKeon is a features desk editor and can be reached at