Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Squat toilets

Joey who is the acting president of AUSA rang me yesterday to ask my opinion on the university installing squat toilets in order to cater for the bowl movements of our international students.

I must say I was somewhat bemused.

I cant help but think that this measure is a waste of time and resources. I am happy that the university is endeavoring to make the NZ student experience in Auckland as easy as possible for international visitors but surely they should be focusing resources on proper pastoral care, reversing the declining amount of international students visiting our shores and improving our image abroad.

I understand that cleaners are having problems with messy loos that have not been used properly.

Well I say rather than ripping up existing blocks - a simple 'how to use' diagram on the back of the door should suffice.

Our they could write this little ditty on the toilet paper holder:

"If you want to shit with ease,
Place your hands upon your knees.
Give a push and give a squeeze
and it will come like melted cheese."


  • Greetings from Birmingham, Alabama. United States of America. I just came across your blog and find it very interesting. I agree on the loo issue. Here is an idea, if you came to whatever country from whatever country take the time to learn how to properly use the host countries shitters!!! You mean to tell me these folks can find the way from all points across the globe but can not figure out how to use the loo??? what the Hell is up with that. take care , and happy shitting!!!

    By Blogger ALNB, at 9:05 am  

  • Dear ALBN,

    Don’t get me wrong, I am intrigued!

    When they finally do put in the loos, I'll be one of the first giving them a whirl!

    Apparently the squatting position is better for the bowls.

    By Blogger Constar, at 9:22 am  

  • Squat toilets are good for the bowels! Good for the Bowels I tell you! I will be using them regularly!

    By Blogger Xavier, at 11:11 am  

  • Surely if they are renovating all the toilets in the library then changing a few to squat toilets isnt really a waste of reasources. They still have to put somthing there, be it a normal toilet, or some crazy Asian contraption.

    I also wonder how much the decline in international student numbers could be reversed for the cost of a few toilets.

    Agreed on the notice thing though, surely that would be a viable alternative that would allow everyone to benefit from the toilets. As I recall the Railway campus had a particularly effective notice depicting the proper use of a toilet using stick figures. Still a few failed to grasp the concept, with unfortunate results for all concerned :/.

    By Blogger Brendon, at 4:55 pm  

  • I've used a few different toilets in a few different countries over the years, even the squat variety - and it all adds to the spice of life when experiencing different cultures.

    But why the Auckland University would want to put in squat toilets is beyod me, I mean, overseas students are coming to experience Kiwi culture aren't they?

    By Blogger onscreen, at 4:59 pm  

  • I am totally over the toilet thing, being rung for comment by two TV stations and Radio NZ over 9 toilets is completely stupid. To put it into perspective the Uni got permission from the TEC to raise Med School fees by about $1000 a year to around $11k and I got no media pick up what so ever. I have even been rung by students telling me how dirty Asians are and how they should go home, which was pleasant.

    I personally think it is a good thing, they are catering to a perceived need, it will mean changing 9 toilets (less than 1% of toilets on campus), and it does little harm. They're cheaper, easier to clean, more hygienic, more natural and beneficial for you internal muscles, preferred by a group of students, cost less to install and maintain and use less loo paper than normal toilets. I don't know why squatting is such a problem to sitters.

    Yes almost all international students can and should be able to use our toilets. I think this is more of a preference thing than anything else, yes this is partially culturally derived but that is neither here nor there. We have signs telling not to squat but I think people are squatting out of choice and not from inability to sit. Why aren’t we happy that the Uni is catering to preference. Is our cultural imperialistic nature so rife that we need everyone in our country to shit like we do. If I were in Asia, sure I’d squat if I needed to but I’d prefer a western toilet if it were available. It’s like asking for a knife and fork in an Asian restaurant. No big deal.

    By Blogger Joey, at 1:36 pm  

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