The definitive ranking of the public restrooms at SIU

By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

Something like 40 pounds of poop.  

For the sake of science, I, Thomas Donley, toured each and every bathroom at SIUC, in order to find the best and worst places to do your business. That is about how many pounds of excrement it would take to drop one in all 32 buildings on campus.

There was McDonalds, Papa Johns and Fat Patties. But most of all, there was Don Taco.



5. Student Services Building

The newest building on campus, not surprisingly, has some of the best bathrooms around. They’re a little small, but they’re clean and pleasant to use.

Verdict: Poop here. You won’t regret it. 

4. Richard “Itchy” Jones Stadium

The best public bathroom of the outdoor stadiums on campus. The bathrooms at the Itch have heaters above the door, calming the sting of the early-spring cold when you head in to drop your deuces. The water pressure in the faucets is fantastic.

Verdict: Take a dump at the ball game.


3. Morris Library

Probably the brightest-lit bathrooms on campus. The restrooms at the library only miss out on the top two spots based on the limited number of stalls in each one. The bathrooms on each floor are consistent, clean and inviting.

Verdict: Don’t worry about having a poop attack during a study session. Let ‘er rip, tater chip.

2. SIU Arena

The bathrooms at SIU Arena were not ignored during the 2010-11 renovations. There are several stalls and urinals, so long lines are not an issue. The cleanliness is top-notch, and everything is automated, from the toilets to the faucets to the lights and the automation works perfectly almost every time. You don’t get premature flushes, and you don’t have to wave your hands at the sink like a crappy magician.

Verdict: Go to a game at the Arena, if only just to use the toilet.

1. Altgeld Hall

From the outside, Altgeld Hall looks old. But on the inside, it’s immaculate, and the bathrooms are no different. You would never guess you were growing a tail in a building that was built 13 years after the patent for the modern toilet paper roll. The lighting is great, all appliances are clean and the bathrooms are just generally inviting. I didn’t want to leave.

Verdict: If you have a visit to Altgeld Hall planned, you will be tapping your toes on the throne.


5. Rehn Hall

The upstairs bathrooms are not particularly bad, but Rehn Hall finds itself in the bottom five because of its downstairs men’s room.

There are no men’s rooms on the ground floor. The closest one is in the basement, where there are no ladies’ rooms. The men’s room is surprisingly hard to find in such a straightforward hallway, and it’s not worth the effort it takes to find it. A sign near the door says, “Please Excuse Our Progress,” even though none appears to be taking place.

Verdict: Your efforts are better spent finding a different building in which to take the Browns to the Super Bowl.

4. Lawson Hall

I’m not saying the bathrooms in Lawson Hall are disgusting, but nicer toilets have been used to make hooch. Located in the corner outside each auditorium, you have to wind your way through a cramped closet just to find a stall that may or may not be partitioned off by a shower curtain. Washing your hands of the film of bacteria the room is crawling with takes a little extra effort, as the faucets have probably the worst water pressure on campus.

Verdict: You could do worse, but you should try to do better.

 3. Woody Hall

The bathrooms in Woody Hall are isolated enough to make them the perfect place to make Polyjuice Potion. The location in probably the creepiest building on campus doesn’t help the overall feel of the generally-unclean restrooms here.

Verdict: Most of the Woody Hall is vacant. You should leave the restrooms the same way.

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2. Lindegren Hall

I’m pretty sure Stephen King designed the bathrooms in Lindegren Hall. The ground level bathroom has a mini-hallway leading to it, which has a distinctive “Green Mile” feel to it — it makes you dread taking a seat at the end.

Some Lindegren restrooms have plenty of space, while others are so cramped that just being in one is a fire hazard in and of itself. The bathrooms that actually have more than five feet of lateral space are similar to a Cold Mountain cell, dimly lit and full of cockroaches. A feature that shouldn’t go unnoticed is the sinks have separate faucets for hot and cold water — I didn’t realize we were still in the early 20th century.

Verdict: The only thing keeping Lindegren and its horror-movie restrooms out of the No. 1 worst of the worst spot is the fact that touching things in the restrooms is not disgusting itself.

1. Communications Building

You know that feeling you get when your poop splashes toilet water on your butt? You get that feeling all over your body as soon as you walk into a restroom in the Comm Building. The lighting creates an ambiance similar to how I imagine Charles Manson’s basement. Oh yeah, there are holes in some of the walls.

Once you get into a stall that may or may not have a functioning lock — you won’t want to sit down.

I have never once sat on one of those seats and felt confident that I wouldn’t contract some type of disease. Once the job is done and it’s time for the paperwork, you might as well have torn a page out of your notebook you brought with you to wipe with — probably more comfortable and just as absorbent as the sandpaper they supply you with. After you wash your hands, you’re lucky if the paper towel dispensers work. 

Verdict: The worst of the worst. Only poop here if your only other option is to drop a deuce in Thompson Woods and wipe with leaves.

  1. Altgeld Hall
  2. SIU Arena
  3. Morris Library
  4. Richard “Itchy” Jones Stadium
  5. Student Services Building
  6. StudentHealth Center
  7. Saluki Stadium
  8. Agriculture Building
  9. Coal Research Center
  10. Northwest Annex
  11. Engineering Building
  12. Wheeler Hall
  13. Life Science III
  14. Neckers Hall
  15. Davies Hall
  16. Grinnell Hall
  17. Trueblood Hall
  18. Doyle Hall
  19. Life Science II
  20. Lesar Law Building
  21. Wham Education Building
  22. Pulliam Hall
  23. Quigley Hall
  24. Paul Simon Public Policy Institute
  25. Allyn Hall
  26. Student Center
  27. Faner Hall
  28. Rehn Hall
  29. Lawson Hall
  30. Woody Hall
  31. Lindegren Hall
  32. Communications Building