I’ll admit it, I don’t really like bathroom graffiti. It’s a pain to photograph– tight spaces, risk of people walking in, not usually the best material. The B-level men’s room of the Reg is a notable exception; if Crescat Graffiti gets a sequel, the B-level men’s room will get its own section.
Nonetheless, when Emilie Shumway tipped me off to a lengthy discussion taking place in the women’s bathroom on the first floor of Hutch, I was intrigued and went to check it out. It sounded like a good opportunity to answer the question posed in the B-level men’s room: “Perhaps one of you can tell me, are there these sorts of scribbles in the women’s bathrooms here? I would think so, but I haven’t heard anything.”
Sadly, the biggest similarity between the Hutch first floor women’s bathroom and the B-level men’s bathroom is the quantity of graffiti– and the men’s bathroom would still win using that metric.
Here’s the photo set that captures all of the graffiti in that stall. It can be summed up as a combination of graffiti telling people not to write graffiti, the typical responses to such a piece of graffiti, the usual bathroom meta-commentary (“Sometimes I feel like the worst part of college is having to poop without something to read”), some poetry that’s probably not going to win any awards, and a mad lib that is the closest thing the stall offers to something B-level-like. Which is to say, it references philosopher kings. That said, it also references toasters.
Is there something about the Regenstein Library, or the people who tend to frequent it, that leads to good graffiti? Certainly not all the Reg graffiti is equally good, but much of it is better than anything you can find in the Hutch first floor women’s bathroom. Do the same people write in both places? Or are the girls who drop by the bathroom on the way to get a burrito entirely different from the girls who write in the study carrels? Is it the difference between being surrounded by crappy fast food/cafeteria food and being surrounded by bookshelves? I’m not inclined to make any claims along those lines, but I’ll happily take your speculations in the comments.