This past weekend, both the campus and students were flooded––the former with rain and the latter with work. It made for the perfect storm as students flocked to the library to hole up, work on group projects and print out readings for the coming week. For one unlucky student, what was supposed to be a relaxed study session with her boyfriend turned into an unforgettable 30-minute ordeal.
Jules Cianciotta ’24 spent her Sunday evening trapped in the first floor bathroom of the library. After perusing readings for her history class, she left the Collaboration Studio to take a trip to the nearest bathroom, just a few steps away from her study nook. Minutes later, she realized the door was stuck. Cianciotta’s initial plan to call for help was short-lived, as she quickly noticed she had left her phone behind with her backpack. At this point, she had to come to terms with the fact that she would need to interrupt the quiet, serene atmosphere of the library with disruptive bangs and loud cries for help. “I first tried to whisper-yell…but that obviously didn’t work,” she noted. Luckily, a student heard her pleas for assistance and notified the front desk.
“You know, some could call it doorgate,” Cianciotta joked. When she was in the stall, she reported hearing a person walk in, only to walk out a moment later. As the door was working just fine prior to this interruption, her suspicions grew. “There must have been some sort of saboteur––that’s the only explanation,” she added with a laugh.
Moments of hope were soon squashed as the library’s master key was no match for the jammed lock of the bathroom in question. By now, a crowd grew around this corner of the library. “The scariest thing about getting trapped in a bathroom was other people’s judgment,” Cianciotta shared.
With sweat beading down her forward and a healthy dose of laughter, she eventually found humor in the situation and engaged her boyfriend, Michael Dixon ’23, in a game of Eye Spy. In between rounds, she heard many students passing by talking about the situation. “People were like, ‘I heard about someone getting stuck in the bathroom’…but it was me, I was stuck in the bathroom,” she exclaimed. “My initial thought was [that] this quite literally isn’t possible; I’ve used that bathroom more than once, and the door locks from the inside,” Dixon shared. “It was like someone came up to me and said, ‘Jules locked herself in her car,’” he added.
After more attempts to pry the door open, break the lock or open the door with a credit card, Safety and Security arrived at the scene. They quickly unlocked the door; however, how exactly they did it remains a mystery. The officers stayed humble and did not divulge their door unlocking secrets to inquiring students.
Although Cianciotta was only trapped for 30 minutes, after a few rounds of Eye Spy, her sense of time was distorted. “It felt like an eternity,” she shared. For the record, Cianciotta wants the general public to know she did not intend to get trapped in the bathroom, despite jokes made to the contrary. As for how to prevent future situations like this, her advice resonates with those who constantly feel the need to remind others of the campus’ nudity policy: “We need to get comfortable with human anatomy. If I could pee out in the open, this never would’ve happened.”