A Bathroom to Watch: The Women’s Restroom at The Graduate 

Design by Sara Offer

From first years complaining about the dilemma of pooping in communal bathrooms to Fizz posts commenting on the various smells that linger in the Franklin basement restrooms, Yale students make the way people “do their business” everyone’s business. However, there has been a noticeable decline in content from the popular Instagram account @yalebathrooms (okay, maybe not noticeable, but I’ve certainly been upset about it), a page that provides pictures and ratings for various bathrooms around campus. But fear not; I’m here to break the silence. It’s time we stop focusing on the bathrooms in Sterling, WLH, and the other academic buildings. It’s time we get creative. That’s why I made the journey to The Graduate, a popular study spot for Yale students, to investigate whether its bathrooms live up to the hype. The short answer: they most certainly do.

As I approached the women’s restroom on the first floor of The Graduate, I was skeptical. No public restroom can be that exciting. Yet, as I turned the door handle, I was welcomed by the angelic voice of Stevie Nicks singing “Dreams”—no doubt a good omen. The most eccentric feature of the bathroom is its large pink couch. But beware! I caution bathroom frequenters not to be seduced by this odd piece of furniture, lest they neglect the other mysteries within the restroom. For example, after I overcame my initial fascination with the couch, I turned to the sink area only to find an abandoned tube of lipstick. What a thrill! Who had left it there? Why had they forgotten it? How long had it been tragically deserted? These are the kinds of pressing questions conjured by The Graduate’s first-floor women’s bathroom. 

The lipstick tube is far from the only enigma therein. You might be wondering what resides in those beautiful green cabinets below the sinks. Spare paper towels? More soap? Yet when I went to find out, I was denied access. This made me wonder: what might be lurking in there? What secrets are you keeping, The Graduate bathroom? I sat down on the couch to ponder some more when I noticed a digital thermostat on the wall. Upon walking toward the device, I was informed that the bathroom was a comfortable 71 degrees. The temperature itself was not terribly interesting to me, but I did appreciate The Graduate’s thoughtfulness in publishing the temperature for its patrons. Or maybe it was a trick––a ploy to make customers feel like they are informed about the inner workings of the bathroom, in order to divert any questions they may have about the mysterious couch, lipstick, and cabinets. 

Having completed my examination, my professional conclusion is that The Graduate’s bathrooms are well worth the jaunt down Chapel Street. Aside from their cleanliness and captivating design, The Graduate’s bathrooms open up a world of questions for their clientele. Never once has a bathroom stimulated my curiosity to such an extent, besides the Sig Nu bathroom, which features a (living?) spongy-looking, bacteria-ridden organism in the far corner. Thus, readers of the Herald, I implore you: go forth to the first floor of The Graduate!

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