Stalls, Escapes and Sanctuaries: PLNU’s Favorite Bathrooms

Men’s Bathroom in Bond Academic Center. Photo credit to Charis Johnston.

By: Elijah Ratermanis

There is one thing that every member of Point Loma Nazarene University’s community has in common: using the bathroom. Few people enjoy walking into a public restroom, especially when they are overflowing with people, filled with an uncertain smell, or worst of all … without a good cell signal.

Bathrooms fill every hall and every building at PLNU, but with approximately 368 restrooms across four campuses, what are the best ones? Or better yet, what are some favorite ones of our own PLNU’s faces?

“I honestly love the bathrooms in Sator and Latter Hall,” current fourth-year applied health science major and Associated Student Body (ASB) President Nathan Shoup said. “[They’re] the ones next to the sea view terrace.”

These bathrooms are on the west side of the building, tucked away from most walkways and facing the ocean. There is a small bridge to get to the area, and for the most part, students find themselves in more well-known bathrooms, rather than this more private section of campus. Many PLNU students use this area to study, soak in the sun or check the wave patterns before a day of skipping class to surf, creating a quiet yet comfortable spot to take a break on a busy day. Although many science majors make their way to this building, diving into a series of three-hour labs (a bathroom-requiring amount of time), this spot is not always noticed by the rest of the student body.

Despite students seeing her mostly in Brown Chapel, Vice President of Student Life and Formation Mary Paul said “Definitely the one [bathroom] outside of the President’s Dining Room” is her favorite.

While many students do not even know this bathroom exists, it is connected to one of the most populated buildings on PLNU’s campus, usually referred to as The Caf. Sitting right next to the lawnchair-filled Cunningham Lawn, the presidential bathroom has two single stalls that lend a hand in telling the history of PLNU’s campus.

Dean of Students Jake Gilbertson said that these restrooms used to be male and female in their designation. Although they are now unisex restrooms, their decorations are a testament to these prior designations, the former male restroom having pictures of horses and the female restroom being covered in floral print.

“It’s a funny throwback to an era when I guess that felt more appropriate,” Gilbertson said.

While these bathrooms are not always open to the rest of the student body, those who have found their way to the presidential bathroom have most likely seen the more traditional decoration style and the chest full of PLNU pens, a keepsake after using the restroom. Right through the doors of Cunningham Dining Hall lies a generally unexplored, yet important historical place at PLNU.

ASB Director of Student Relations and third-year business management and entrepreneurship double major Colby Douglas said that his favorite bathroom lies on the top floor of Nicholson Commons, in close quarters to the ASB offices, where the student body can meet and connect with every ASB representative. He said that this bathroom has two doors, the first leading into a small walkway to the second, which creates a seal of air in between. 

Douglas said his favorite part is that when the first door is opened, the second door opens just slightly enough to give anyone in the bathroom a warning that someone else is about to enter.

These upstairs bathrooms connect directly to the Residential Life and ASB lounge, where students can sit on the couches, enjoy homework and reach out to the student body. During ASB’s office hours, students can talk about club creation, get student feedback or chat with the ASB officers.

Across campus, these bathrooms are available, yet many of them remain unknown and often unseen, similar to the many lookout areas, historical monuments and resources that PLNU has to offer. Students have the opportunity to connect with the university’s campus every day, whether through the well-known spots, the student population, or the daily need to relieve themselves to waste time during class.