By Hank Bedingfield
Within the walls of what is often referred to as the most physically unsettling dorm on campus, there is a refuge unlike any other. Time to demystify the Loomis Bath.
Mentioned only in hushed whispers and shrouded with a cult-like fascination, the Loomis Bath is classic Colorado College lore for any student who enjoys an urban legend. The few who have seen these baths with their own eyes — a select group regarded with Masonic cynicism and reverence — find themselves constantly in defensive testimony against non-believers. Those devout witnesses view these baths — contained in chokingly small, closet-like rooms that are dangerously reminiscent of 1970s mental institutions — with a fanatical, fantasizing gaze. Students savor the mere idea of these baths with relishing intent, as if the prospect of soaking in one of those sauna-like tubs is all the therapy needed to wash away the trauma of the block plan.
Sadly, for the general student population of CC — and at great detriment to our collective mental stability — these baths are as elusive and exclusive as the dreams they always occupy.
The reality of this myth is crushingly disappointing. While baths do exist on nearly every floor of the Loomis den, they are defunct and have been for at least eight years. Worse yet, deterring even the most adventurous bath-seekers like myself, the bathrooms are sealed and secured by lock and key.
“One of the main reasons that they’re no longer operating is that the rooms, which consist of a single tub and an approximately 3’ by 6’ dressing area, don’t have any ventilation, and renovation would be costly,” Loomis Hall Resident Life Coordinator, Sergio Portesan, said as justification for this disappointing closure.
In a borderline offensive fall from grace these tubs now exist as janitorial closets. This disturbing paradox is a slap in the face. What could be a potential sanctuary and oasis from the callusing drudgery of daily life — filling countless imaginations with the blissful vibrations of a cleansing, warm renewal that only a proper soak can provide — is a justified, yet disheartening, utility closet.
One pinhole in this otherwise uniformly bleak bathing reality is the existence of one bath, in a lucky Loomis room.
The proprietors of this retreat — who will remain anonymous for their own security from the murderous, raving, bathing hopefuls of CC — confess to not actually bathing. They do, however, redeem this nearly irreconcilable misuse in a pure expression of utilitarianism.
“Some folks on our floor have taken a bath, though. It’s pretty neat that we can potentially share that utility,” said one of the residents.
Rather than commodifying this finite luxury, these Loomis residents have honorably shared the bath as a neighborhood utility.
For the rest of us, bathing is still confined to homes and hotel rooms. In continuation of the sad cult of backwardness and regression our beloved institution currently suffers, even baths are a thing of the past, subjugated out of reality and to the depths of imagination, not to be palpably enjoyed in the near future.