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Letter from the editor | April 13

A review of the bathrooms in the Interdisciplinary Science Building

A toilet in the Interdisciplinary Science Building [ISB] at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday, April 7. All bathrooms in the ISB are gender-neutral. // Photo by Cameron Martinez

The Interdisciplinary Science Building, the newest of Western Washington University’s academic structures, is a modern building in every sense of the word. From its sleek angles to vibrant open spaces, it is the optimal building for academic pursuits. But the real modern treasure of the building is none other than the bathrooms.

Every bathroom in the building is gender-neutral. No stalls, no random people, just pure solitude.

Bathroom-goers are first greeted by a door that reveals whether or not the room is occupied. This feature, while helpful for those who don’t like being interrupted, is reminiscent of a porta potty.

Each of these rooms features a sink, paper towels, menstrual product dispensers and a porcelain throne for anyone it may encounter.

The sinks are average, as far as sinks go, but far above average in terms of a public bathroom sink. Instead of having to press down on a button and hope the sink stays on the entire duration of the washing, it has a faucet that stays on however long the washer may want.

In terms of paper towels, the machines in these restrooms don’t feel very modern. Users have to touch the machine to get the paper instead of a more germ-friendly, hands-free option. 

Based on previous experiences with menstrual product machines on campus, I am a bit reluctant to believe that these bathrooms had any. Although, I did not check.

The toilet was also nothing to write home about. Sure, it does the job, but it lacks a bidet for proper cleaning.

Although these bathrooms are progressive, they still feature key components of public restrooms. The main thing being the fact that the rooms are not remotely soundproof.

People using the first floor bathrooms can be greeted by the sounds of students studying in the lobby as well as the sounds of other people using the restroom. 

You can take the gender out of the public restroom, but not the uncomfortability faced when inside one.

Overall, I rate this bathroom three out of five crappers.

— Cameron Martinez, spring ‘22 editor-in-chief



Cameron Martinez

Cameron Martinez (she/her) is the editor-in-chief for The Front this quarter. She is majoring in visual journalism with a double minor in queer studies and anthropology. She has written stories ranging from making sushi on a budget to murder hornets on campus. When not reporting, she enjoys listening to podcasts and playing arcade games.

You can reach her at me.thefront@gmail.com or cameron.westernfront@gmail.com. Her Instagram handle is @doctorcameron.


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