The wonderment surrounding the recently constructed Maximino Martinez Commons has subsided, but we still thought we’d answer some lingering questions about how the new residence hall has turned out.
Martinez lobby
Walking in, a common reaction has been “It looks like a museum!” The weird angles and wood/steel combos definitely give credit to that idea. The lure of brand spanking new apartments is also something to chat about. But other than its new, pretty fixings, we’ve starting to wonder if this dorm is really all it’s cracked up to be.

There were already issues surrounding the bathrooms before students even moved in. The confusion over gender inclusive versus gender designated ones was an interesting, to say the least, topic fluttering about the halls towards the beginning of the semester. That got sorted out though, so no real harm done. Now what else still needs fixing around the place?

For two days in the beginning of September, heating was turned up to full blast to get it up and running, as to avoid kinks during colder weather. Ice cream was handed out and shorts were worn, so again there was no real inconvenience. But another morning, residents woke up to no electricity. No lights, no working fridge, no internet. That’s right, no in-room connection to Facebook for almost an entire day! It turns out the main power transformer failed and was disabled. Hours later that same night a generator was installed, restoring power to the studying inhabitants. But power tests remained, and a few hours of electricity were still missed while a temporary transformer was installed. The building is now up and running (Facebook is once again available), but not exactly on a permanent basis yet.

The Martinez Commons are clearly a work in progress. But in exchange for mattresses no one has slept on before, we suppose some concessions must be made. It still has a great location, beautiful courtyard, clean bathrooms, and is a half block away from “late night” at Crossroads. This slightly defective but shiny new student home promises future comfort to its residents, it’s just not exactly perfect yet.

Image source: Erum Khan, The Daily Californian


If you’re trans, androgynous, or genderqueer, it can get kinda hairy when it comes to finding friendly bathrooms. But now you can check before you go out (or on your iPhone if you’re cool like that) where to find a gender-neutral restroom. Single stall jobs and shared spaces included.

Right now, Berkeley doesn’t have too many offerings on the site, but we’re sure there’s more out there. San Francisco currently has 140 listed (it figures).

And you know, you–the general public you–can benefit too. Need a moment of privacy? We totally feel ya.

Image Source: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid under Creative Commons
safe2pee.org [Site]
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