Dorm Life at Brown: Waterworks

bathroom3_CVHello prospective students, confused current students, and lost surfers of the web. Welcome to He, She, and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown, where I address your questions about the most ubiquitous aspect of college living. My name is Justin Ferenzi, and I’m here to help shine some light on the rollercoaster ride that is dorm life.

Last week I wrote about my experiences thus far with the Housing Lottery, sharing a few of my observations, fears, and insights about the process. Today I’m going to talk to you about bathrooms.

Ah, bathrooms. It’s the universal, unspoken apprehension that college students have upon entering school for the first time. Of course, athletes and boarding school graduates probably have some experience with the world communal bathrooms, but your average college kid is in for a whole new experience.

Each floor has a few different bathrooms, some communal and some single-occupancies. Some of the freshman dorms, like Andrews, have semi-private bathrooms that are only accessible to about 8 or 10 people. Most, however, do not.

The large, floor-shared bathrooms are not as scary as they may seem. The division of the bathrooms varies on a unit-by-unit basis; my unit has a men’s room, a women’s room, and a gender neutral bathroom, along with a few single-occupancy bathrooms. Other units elect to make all bathrooms gender-neutral.

Overall, it’s up to your community to work to keep the bathrooms clean and sanitary. You have to keep your floormates honest. Sharing a bathroom can be a really pleasant experience. I know it sounds a little weird, but sometimes it can be fun to run into someone you haven’t talked to in a while, or the chitchat with a friend as you use two adjacent showers.

The bathrooms around Brown dorms are nothing fancy, but they’re not deplorable, either. With minimal effort and cooperation, the stereotype of the dystopian freshman dorm bathroom can easily be avoided.

When Justin Ferenzi isn’t blogging, he’s obsessively refreshing his email account for blogging-related correspondence. For any and all questions about dorm life at Brown, don’t hesitate to send a message to


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