Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Morning Wood: Students complain that men are ‘ruining’ gender neutral bathrooms, stench is primary concern

‘It’s not fair that we have to deal with that, the University needs to do something!’
McKenna Premus/ Daily Collegian

According to a new report from the Collegian, students at the University of Massachusetts have been complaining of horrific stenches and puddles of urine in the newly renovated Student Union bathrooms.

The bathrooms, which are gender neutral, allow for anyone to use them. While it seemed to be a success at first, students quickly began to report that the conditions in the stalls used by men were “atrocious.”

“I passed out. It was insane, I’ve never smelled something so atrocious in my whole life,” said junior psychology student Mindya Busineese. She has been using the Student Union bathrooms for the last few months but recently noticed that the stench has gotten significantly worse.

“It’s not fair that we have to deal with that, the University needs to do something!” Busineese said. Her primary concerns were the smell, which she described as a “similar smell to someone taking dump on a dumpster fire.”

Busineese said she thinks the worsening smell could be caused by the Dining Service’s infamous “Bean Week,” a world-renowned event where every dining hall exclusively serves beans and legumes.

The Collegian compiled all of the complaints from students against the University into a report.

Over 69 percent of students said they had a negative experience in the gender neutral bathrooms because of the mess they found in there. A few students offered testimonial accounts of their experiences.

Johnny Mansplain, a freshman biology major, was one such student, detailing his experience going to the bathroom with a group of his fellow male friends.

“They were disrespectful and disgusting in there. I heard one of them say that they missed the toilet completely on purpose just for the hell of it,” he wrote. Mansplain went on to discuss his disgust with the male gender in their behavior in the gender-neutral bathrooms.

“It’s not all men!” he emphasized. “But I’m disgusted to know so many men that do treat these shared spaces so terribly. But it’s not all men.”

Some of the complaints to the University included a plea to the administration, begging for them to step in and remedy the alleged situation. Sammy Saltine, a sophomore, offered a few options for solutions that could make the bathrooms a better environment for every member of the campus community.

“I think it would be really beneficial to have air fresheners available to students that are using these bathrooms,” they wrote. “Many students are very familiar with air fresheners because they use them to cover up the smell of drugs in their dorms already.”

Saltine also suggested that the University provide students with mini mops to manage puddles of urine on their own time as they come across them.

In an email to the Collegian, University spokesperson Meenut Man explained that these measures are not feasible with the institution’s current budget, but the administration might consider them moving forward.

“We do not have the funding to clean the bathroom more than once a week,” Man wrote. The University only allocates a few hundred dollars annually to fund the cleaning of the student union bathrooms, and he said that this is barely enough to pay for the staff members that do the cleaning.

“To save some money in this difficult economy, we have begun to use a chore chart to split up the cleaning responsibility among our salaried administration members,” Man said.

A copy of the chart was provided to the Collegian, and it shows that the Chancellor is in charge of the student union bathrooms for the week of April 1. Responsibility switches to the Dean of Student Conduct the following week.

The timeline for these changes is up in the air, and some students are worried they won’t be implemented until they graduate. Saltine said they just want to enjoy using the bathroom without worrying about keeping their shoes dry.

“I pride myself in keeping my [Air] Forces in impeccable shape. If I step in a puddle of piss, they’ll be ruined!”

Stinky Sleuth can be reached at

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