Review My Loo: The MML Department

Will the MML Factulty toilets live up to their high reputation? BEN DALTON and LEAF ARBUTHNOT feel the urge to investigate…

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After the Chemistry Department’s bogs fell prey to harsh critics, many lost faith in Cambridge’s capacity for sumptuous sanitaries. With the MML faculty’s reputation for its convivial spirit and casual scatophilia, how will their loos fare?


It was, I thought, as if the loo knew it was up for review. Stepping through the door, I was met with two quite separate spectacles not normally glimpsed in these parts.

1) A Girl.

The alarm bells that sounded in my head upon as the female in question stepped out of a cubicle spoke with Professor Quirrel’s voice from The Philosopher’s Stone when he complains of a “TROLL! TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!” As a reviewer, I seized my opportunity to get an outsider’s opinion, and asked for a photo and a quote. At this, the girl screamed and fled, but not before shouting “8/10!”.

2) An Unhygienic Academic.

Whilst I haven’t the time to trawl the MML staff profiles for the identity of the silver-haired pisser in question, I can tell you that he re-zipped and left without a single thought for the sinks.


Scene of the crime…

The above phenomena testify to the fact that the MML gents’ are marketing themselves as something a little bit different. They are not merely a passive receptacle of waste disposal, but a fertile site of exchange and discovery. Here relieving themselves are people from all different walks of life (and genders, apparently). Academics stand beside students in hearty demonstration of a shared, tinkling, far-too-yellow-to-be-healthy humanity.

One urinal dweller, commenting on the female visitation, wondered whether the distressed damsel had not merely mistaken the MML’s toiletry architecture for the European model. Anyone who knows their Žižek will be versed in the continuities between lavatories and ideology: could the MML faculty be signposting their globality any more beautifully than with a model which at once recalls the industrial lines of a Dresden pisserie and a Parisian McDonald’s unisex?


Could easily be the Champs-Elysées

This metropolitan hub does however have its weak points. The tap for drinking water, whilst offering a mysterious alternative to the bottle-crunching awkwardness of the sink, takes forever to fill. This can sometimes lead to urinal-dwellers becoming nervous upon sensing a lingering presence behind them.


At once a site of intrigue and angst

The biggest let down has to be the view. With a possible panoramic of the criminology faculty and its miniature Japanese garden complete with supervision-bench, these pissoirs really should be sparing more of a thought for the optic. At the time of review, the window panes were of a glass frosted so heavily that none of Sidgwick’s lauded backwaters could be seen.


A piss-poo(r) view

To sum up: a thoroughly metropolitan, gender-neutral toilet with drinking water and a laissez-faire attitude to boot. That the architecture takes its surroundings for granted, however, is an insurmountable pity.


As faculty loos go, this one is fairly competent. Located next to the MML library, it’s become something of a social hub, netting all those who should be reading up on Barthes next door but really just want to yak with a chum whilst examining her disgraceful nail-beds.



The three well-proportioned sinks are always glinting with cleanliness; the soap packs a pungent perfume that will leave none in doubt that you’re a zealous hand-washer; you get to choose between a hand-dryer and a conveyor towel. And thank god, because there’s nothing worse than writing lecture notes with a damp wrist.

Sophisticated palette

Sophisticated palette

The bathroom also has a full-length mirror, which is lovely, considering I keep forgetting to do up my flies and tend to decorate my neck with toothpaste. That said, the mirror can cause congestion at the door. Only today I popped in for a waz, only to hover idiotically next to a girl who I thought was waiting. She wasn’t.



There are several other drawbacks. Firstly, as with the men’s toilets upstairs, the views are shite – two scrawny mist-windows that give an all too impressionistic vision of the beautiful Sidge outside. Secondly, the bathroom has but two cubicles, making it a queue hotspot (and an awkward one at that, since all chat must circumvent around the tinkle of peeing). Thirdly, the two cubicles are weirdly proportioned – one is massive, the other mini, so that you feel pissed off if you get the little one, and maniacally elated if you get the big one.

So all in all, a decent privy, offering food for thought in the men’s, and a great self-checkout opportunity in the ladies.