Campus' most pristine toilets

As you might have noticed, all the prime bathrooms in non-residential buildings are pretty tricky to find and/or access. They’re not always on every floor of the buildings, are often hidden around sketchy Butler corners, etc.

But have you ever? Classic collective action problem.

Interested in becoming more in-the-know in regards to the fanciest campus toilets? Wish to make your bladder gladder between classes? Here’s a useful list of some of campus’s most disgusting and glorious bathrooms.

Moaning Myrtle meets Ivy League

  • Location: John Jay’s Health Center
  • Why go for it: To appreciate the Brazilian Walnut wooden doors.
  • Why hold (lol) it: Because you’d have to go through the medical center, and that is ridiculous.
  • Sanitation: 9/10
  • Smell: Bearable
The restroom at your dad’s workplace

  • Location: Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Avery Hall
  • Why go for it: Because it’s quiet and there’s a lovely random changing table, in case you ever need one.
  • Why hold it: Because you’d have to already be in Avery, which is pretty unlikely.
  • Sanitation: A glowing 10/10.
  • Smell: Lilacs in the spring.
A flickering fluorescent bulb overhead—the classic murder scene.

  • Location: The 200 level of Philosophy Hall (or one floor below the ground floor)
  • Why go for it: Because it’s the closest one if you’re at the Writing Center.
  • Why hold it: The sketchiness is overwhelming.
  • Sanitation: 7/10
  • Smell: Of death approaching.
The road-side gas station lined with fast food grease

  • Location: 5th floor of Kent Hall
  • Why go for it: Because I couldn’t find the bathroom on the 200 level, so we’re stuck with this one for the entire building.
  • Why hold it: The repulsive aroma in the air, though not of human feces, as you’d might expect.
  • Sanitation: 5/10
  • Smell: Refer to: “Why hold it.”
Post-coffee war zone within a Soviet interior

  • Location: Joe Coffee, located on the second floor of NoCo
  • Why go for it: Because you have the post-morning coffee routine down, and it always involves a pit stop in the local loo.
  • Why hold it: Because without it, you’ll have to sit uncomfortably through your hour-and-15-minute lecture.
  • Sanitation: 8/10
  • Smell: Not like coffee, unfortunately.
A mini chess board

  • Location: Third floor of Butler
  • Why go for it: Because of the fancy tiles and a running-in with your with your comrades in studying solidarity.
  • Why hold it: Because it’s usually crowded, and you don’t want to get pee-shy.
  • Sanitation: 9/10, despite the overflowing garbage can.
  • Smell: Depends on the hour. Gets smellier as the day wanes.
The claustrophobic tunnel off the beaten path

  • Location: The eighth floor of Butler stacks
  • Why go for it: Because it’s the closest bathroom to your discreet make out location. Plus, privacy.
  • Why hold it: Because it’s pretty damn hard to find.
  • Sanitation: 9/10. Pretty clean. Does anyone ever use it?
  • Smell: Nothing you haven’t smelled before.
Upper East Side Manhattan penthouse

  • Location: 7th floor Dodge Hall
  • Why go for it: The killer view.
  • Why hold it: There’s only one toilet, so chances are it’s fully occupied during most hours of the day (despite the very random location).
  • Sanitation: 7/10
  • Smell: Good ol’ bathroom scent along with the New York air from outside.
Olympic ice skating rink

  • Location: Ground floor of Uris Hall
  • Why go for it: It’s pretty fancy. Sleek, black, frictionless floors.
  • Why hold it: The echoes of sounds you wished you’d never have to hear in your life.
  • Sanitation: 7/10
  • Smell: Gentle, sewery waves.
The royal suite, PrezBo’s mansion

  • Location: Ground floor of Barnard Hall
  • Why go for it: Because it’s the private, gender inclusive bathroom you’ve been searching for.
  • Why hold it: It’s pretty close to the main hallway and the Barnard library. People might be frequently knocking.
  • Sanitation: 10/10
  • Smell: Like home.
The modernist, newly-opened shopping mall amenities

  • Location: LL1 of the Diana Center (one floor below ground level)
  • Why go for it: Because modern-day peeing requires high-tech facilities.
  • Why hold it: It’s super dark inside.
  • Sanitation: 9/10
  • Smell: A new car.

Know of any other loos to use? Let us know down in the comments, Tweet us, or Snapchat us (but not of you pooping) @CUspectrum.

Yotam Deree is a trainee Spectrum staff writer and a first-year Columbia GS student. He takes pride in the fact he managed not to get caught while taking pictures of almost every bathroom on campus. Reach him at


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