The residents of the dormitories administered by Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are a diverse bunch. With so many students coming from different backgrounds, it’s hard to guarantee that all of them have had access to American-style porcelain in their home countries. And even if they did, were they using it properly? Doubtful, because you haven’t even been using your bathroom appropriately if you’ve ever blown your nose, brushed your teeth, had sex, or vomited anywhere in it.
To make sure the new grad students don’t bring any of those bad habits to the Best College in the Universe, the GSAS housing administration offers residents an absurd little pamphlet titled “Bathroom Etiquette.” Sources tell us the Harvard freshman don’t get this, rendering the gift all the more sad for 23+ year-olds. The information covered is simple enough, but some of it is shocking when you realize people had to do this stuff a lot to earn it a spot in the pamphlet. Organized into what is inappropriate and appropriate to do in the shower, toilets, and sinks, the concerned student learns how to govern himself in the mystical chamber of secrets found down the hall.
TOILETS AND URINALS
When using the toilet or urinal it is inappropriate to:
- leave bodily fluids (such as blood or urine) on the toilet seat
- leave excessive toilet paper on or around the toilet
- stand on the toilet seat
- flush sanitary napkins
- use foot or shoe to flush toilet/urinal
- leave newspapers in the toilet stalls
* * *
It is inappropriate to collect and store urine in rooms and dispose of it later in the bathrooms or in trash cans.
When using the toilet or urinal it is appropriate to:
- sit on the toilet seat
- urinate in the urinal with proper aim
- flush the toilet and urinals twice if necessary
- clean off the toilet seat if soiled from bodily fluids such as blood, urine, mucus, feces
- wrap sanitary napkins and throw them away in the sanitary disposal box or garbage can
Wait, what!? People stand on toilet seats? There’s the feminine hover obviously, but who stands in a squat over the john, perched like a condor over his domain. It’s nice to see they have instituted a general ban on hoarding one’s precious bodily fluids, though.
When using the showers it is inappropriate to:
- leave bodily fluids such as mucus and blood
- urinate, defecate, or excavate the nasal cavity
- share the shower with another individual
- engage in sexual activity in the shower
- smear hair on the shower wall
- brush teeth
- wash clothing
When using the showers it is appropriate to:
- shave legs and underarms
- wear shower shoes
This is the best category yet. Not only is there the greatest euphemism of all time for nose picking, “excavating the nasal cavity,” but this section has everything else. I for one never would have thought someone would dare shit in a shower. It is a sacred area unequipped with a drain capable of flushing turds away from the user. Maybe the occasional hurl will happen when shame and stank of a terrible, terrible mistake, but poop? Really? And is Brundlefly using the shower? How does one go about smearing enough hair on the shower wall to cause a problem. Ew, just ew.
You really have to give it to GSAS for coming up with an airtight way to ban all forms sex, including birthday sex, from the bathroom. By noting that both sharing the shower and sexual activity in the shower are verboten, grads aren’t left with much of a choice but to shower alone and keep idle hands away from the genitalia. I guess sharing the shower to save water is out, too. And they say green is the new crimson.
When using the sinks it is inappropriate to:
- leave bodily fluids such as blood or mucus
- urinate or defecate in the sink
- leave spit in or around the sink
- shave legs or underarms
- clip finger or toe nails
- wash feet
- leave toothpaste, hair or soap in the sink
- hand wash clothes
When using the sink, it is appropriate to:
- clean up after yourself if cutting, trimming, or dyeing hair
- shave and trim face
- brush teeth
- wash hands and face
- smile at yourself in the mirror
Ending with a joke! Fantastic. But where does that leave me when I have that special urge to defecate in a wash basin? Accompanying the pamphlet are, oh, about 100 signs plastered around the bathroom, excoriating residents not to blow their noses in the shower and to flush. How’s a resident supposed to evacuate bodily fluids in a place like that is a mystery. They’ve even declared the kitchen sinks off limits for teeth brushing. It is never business time in the GSAS residence halls.