By Lyba Mansoor
Have you ever gone to an on-campus bathroom and found all stalls occupied by others?
While standing in wait to relieve your bladder of the five iced coffees you managed to drink, have you ever had the traumatizing experience of making eye contact with the occupant in the stall you are standing outside of?
Ryerson University student Katie Mooney has experienced this multiple times, but enough is enough.
“It happens to me almost every time. Those cracks are just too big and the stalls are perfectly arranged in a room so that the moment someone walks into the bathroom, they turn perfectly to look at the stall. It’s like one of their eyes meet both of mine and then neither of us can look away,” Mooney said.
After a particularly harrowing experience last week, wherein Mooney made eye contact with someone who was engaged in a particularly long bathroom break involving a plunger, 64-ply toilet paper, a seance and a Wilhelm scream, she decided she needed to start a support group.
Known as Supporting-Students Who-Make-Eye-Contact-with-Other-Students-Through-Cracks-in-Campus-Bathroom-Stalls-Anonymous (SSWMECOSTCCBSA), the group has the shared goal of banding together in the face of the pure terror that is “through crack eye contact.”
“I know I can’t be the only one subject to the horrible eye contact, and I think a support group like SSWMECOSTCCBSA is essential. We need to talk about this,” Mooney said.
The group’s first meeting was held on Friday, and was met with a large turnout. About thirty students came out to share their stories.
“I once made eye contact with someone while they were in the loo and then had to stand next to them while we washed our hands. It still keeps me up at night,” said Grace Ridnak at the meeting.
One third-year student explained that they never use the Student Learning Centre (SLC) bathroom anymore, after having someone wink back at them through the crack in the stall.
“I knew this issue was bigger than myself. Why do those slits exist anyway? Can’t we ask for stalls that differ from the ones we had to suffer through in high school? Is it some sort of sick game university planners are playing?” Mooney said.
Whatever the reason behind the cracks, students now have a safe space to work out the life-altering scars awkward bathroom eye contact can leave on us all.