Rules of Porta-Potty Etiquette

Peter Berman, Contributing Writer

As college students, we have all undergone many of the same rituals: signing up for classes, enjoying the wonders or pitfalls associated with the unlimited meal plan, staying up until all hours to study for that hard exam or to finish a pesky assignment, and using a porta-potty.

One of these is not like the others, but nonetheless may resonate with many of you. We’re talking about the usage of those lovely enclosures consisting of a chemical toilet, a small sink (typically lacking a working soap dispenser) and a toilet paper dispenser. Here are a few rules of porta-potty etiquette to follow:

1) Do not be the person to use one for more than five minutes (We get it; we all have to poop, but we only have so much time in the day to devote to waiting for the bathroom).

2) Do not cut to the front of the line no matter how badly you have to go (a seemingly obvious one, but still something that some obnoxious people try).

3) Do not take more toilet paper than you really need.

“When using a porta-potty, there is one important thing to remember as a guy: either pee or squat, don’t sit on the actual toilet,” Matt Salemy ’16 said.

For many people, the lack of cleanliness among the porta-potties we have at our disposal has been a recurring issue. Many people think that they’re too unsanitary. If porta-potties were cleaned regularly, the stigmatization of them as disgusting might eventually subside.

“I’d rather use a regular public bathroom,” Yvonne Jeng ’16 said. 

When prompted further, Jeng elaborated by saying that even when the weather is nice, porta-potties “can be dangerous, as I have heard about them tipping over before, so you should exercise caution when using them.”

Needless to say, as harmless as porta-potties may seem, these are a few rules that should be followed by anyone who chooses to use a porta-potty.

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