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July 23, 2006

-- Journal --

15 girls in a Harvard bathroom

By Michel Lee

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. I dislike our dorm bathroom.

It's a communal bathroom, which means that about 15 girls from the third and fourth floor use it. You need a key to open the door, which is quite inconvenient when you really, REALLY have to go and the lock is broken.

The shower arrangement is also strange. There's one single and one double. I don't understand why there's a double. I'm not best friends with everyone on my floor and I don't feel comfortable taking showers with anyone else.

Also complicating the bathroom dilemma is the mislabeling of men's/women's bathrooms. The bathroom that I use has a sign outside reading "Women," but the one on the floor below me has a "Men" sign with a sloppily constructed "Women" poster taped over it -- and the ground floor bathroom has no sign at all.

Whichever boy thought it would be funny to invite girls to brush their teeth with him in the mornings was obviously misdirected in his sense of humor.

Since no one knows which bathroom she should use, all the girls use MY floor's bathroom.

Originally designed for half a floor, it now services the needs of half the entire dorm and has come to resemble a Korean public bathhouse.

I'm not so sure this is the sense of community I'm looking for. (Okay, I'm exaggerating about the bathroom-dorm ratio. But it's nothing like having my own bathroom at home.)

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