The University of Sydney is celebrated for its approach to innovative architecture and sophisticated spaces. Despite the praises that they will herald to everyone about their state-of-the-art Law Library, it is apparent that the grandiose five metre tall skylight was prioritised over something that is more important.
This issue is so rarely talked about that I wonder if USyd has distributed non-disclosure agreements university-wide. Nonetheless, mostly as a measure to avoid my insurmountable readings, but also in the name of serious investigative journalism: I will no longer be silenced.
For those unaware, the quick two step descent leads vulnerable law students — most who are already on the verge of losing the plot — into a black-tiled abyss devoid of natural light, or really, any signs of life. Actually, this would be remiss of me to say, as there is definitely a strong bacterial presence in the random puddle formations of what we can only assume is water (but could also very likely be tears of Torts and Contracts II students… or faecal matter — your guess is as good as mine).
What could only be presumed to be a “cutting edge” design choice (perhaps reflecting the colour of the law students’ hearts), the Law Library bathroom is decorated in lines of black tiles, with black stalls and, you guessed it, a black roof. The closest thing to a glimpse of colour may be the resident, near-sentient tumbleweed of white tissue paper rising from the ever-overflowing bin. Rumour has it that it has been infected by the parasitic water, and has taken on a life of its own. Long story short, the bathroom is reminiscent of a 2014 tumblr emo. And since the Law School was built in 2009, I’m beginning to become concerned that it really isn’t “just a phase”.
Upon entering the bathroom, the perils of the four stalls behind the sink, or what I refer to as the “round-the-corner-part”, are quickly revealed. The round-the-corner-part is a very dangerous place — not that I have dared to venture further. Merely peering into the back — which for two thirds of the year was shrouded in complete darkness due to a fractured light bulb — is a valid reason for needing to seek help (and STAT!).
This is not even to mention the basin, which is coated with a layer of grime so thick that I’m surprised Marie Kondo hasn’t dedicated a special edition episode to its refurbishment. In an effort to wash their hands in water sourced directly from hell (That’s Hot! Thanks Satan!) students might also catch sight of a long-term resident, a poster by the Brain and Mind Centre labelled with the advice that “the University of Sydney are seeking healthy adults with regular sleep cycles to participate in our observational study”. In a way, and particularly when using the bathroom in the early hours of the morning, it is the final straw in the mockery that is the Sydney Law Student Bathroom experience.