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Senior Spotlight: Edward Walker showers praise

Photo courtesy Edward Walker

By Murtaza Kazmi     3/28/23 10:17pm

If you need to know where the best showers are at Rice, Edward Walker is the person to talk to. 

“Team Fresh Smelling Wiess, which I started in my freshman year, rates and reviews the public showers on campus,” Walker, a Wiess College senior, said. “It’s been a great project over my four years, just going out and taking people to shower in a public shower, rate and review it.”

Walker said that the shower evaluation process is more thorough than one may think, involving a number of ratings and reviews.

“It's just people standing in a bathroom, taking turns taking a shower, and then rating [the shower] on a scale of one to 10,” Walker said. “I have a Google Sheet for the showers, and I rate the appearance and the acoustics and then there's also a Google Doc I have where I write a one-paragraph description of my time showering there.”

Walker says the club spawned in his freshman year after discovering an unusual shower location on campus.

“One of my friends just happened to say, ‘Did y'all know that there's a public shower in the Jones School Business second floor? We have to go check it out,’” Walker said. “We took a shower there, and we made it a goal to just go around campus and rate and review all the showers.”

Although the concept of a shower-rating club is amusing to many, Walker’s results have had tangible impacts on campus. In the face of winter storm Uri two years ago, Walker’s reviews provided resources for students on campus after water was cut off. 

“Nobody could take a shower,” Walker said. “I had a list of all the showers and how good they were. Since they were open, people were asking me where to take showers.”

A mechanical engineering major, Walker said he enjoys using his engineering expertise beyond showering. He’s involved in Engineers Without Borders on campus, using engineering to serve communities outside Rice — right now, he’s helping to design and build a bridge for a Nicaraguan village. 

His grandfather, Walker said, nurtured this interest in engineering from a young age.

“He was an aerospace engineer, a civilian contractor for the Department of the Army, and he did a lot of missile defense work back in the Cold War,” Walker said. “He took an effort to encourage me when I started to show an interest in science and technology because he wanted to see me grow up and become an engineer like him.”

In between reviewing showers, Walker also reflects on his nearly four years at Rice — from piles of coursework to even more friends. 

“The best times at Rice have been late nights working on things in the OEDK. Recently, [we] were working on a motor for mechatronics. That was a lot of fun, even though [we were] there [until midnight] or 1 a.m.,” Walker said. “It sucks in the moment, but it's really fun to talk about afterwards.”

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