Sh*t happens

THOMAS FLATMOEN & MOLLY UNDALL

Mast Radio Hosts

flatmota@plu.edu; undallmj@plu.edu

WARNING:
IF READING ABOUT BODILY FLUIDS MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE, SKIP THIS ARTICLE.

Pacific Lutheran University’s campus is a treat for the eyes. It is green, beautiful and clean.
The lush forest surroundings create a magical atmosphere that could easily be the set of a Harry Potter movie. Dig a little deeper, though, and you find the disgusting reality of college students.
Lutes, in general, may still be in that awkward “I’m not an adult but not a teenager” phase. Students still find poop, and everything related, hilarious. Some like to talk about it and some like to do it. Some are so comfortable with poop, they don’t feel the need to use a toilet.

We have our wonderful grounds services staff to thank for maintaining the campus that we’re so proud of. Not only do the grounds need to be maintained, but a lot of work is required to keep the buildings on campus functioning, clean and safe.
With 30+ Environmental Services staff working to keep our campus buildings clean, you might think it is an “easy” to job. But no, you’re wrong. The cleaning staff has a lot of ground to cover, and if that’s not enough, they can always rely on students to shit or vomit wherever they please.

Poop in fall

In the beginning of this semester, housekeeper Chung Morley, who is responsible for cleaning in Pflueger, was about to clean the girls’ showers on the second floor of the building. She walked in and discovered someone had been nice enough to take a dump on the floor.
Although shocked, she had no choice but to clean it up. She shared her story with other staff members in Environmental Services, but no one believed her. The next day, Chung went to clean the same showers. To her surprise, someone had pooped on the floor again. Baffled by her discovery, she contacted another crew member to have them look at the situation. Unfortunately for Chung and her colleagues, poop incidents aren’t uncommon.
According to Mary Dennie, the Interim Manager of Environmental Services, there is a poop or vomit incident that requires clean-up every single day. Sometimes it is just a clogged toilet or vomit in a sink or trash can. But other times it seems like people go out of their way to make the day interesting for the Environmental Services staff.

Finger Painting in the Past

One Saturday morning a few years ago, housekeeper Susan Garland, who has been working for Environmental Services for the last six years, was walking through the hallways of Harstad. She noticed there was a strange smell. The plumbing in Harstad is outdated, so Garland thought this was the cause of the bad odor. She entered the bathrooms on her cleaning routine. Inside one of the bathroom stalls, she discovered the origin of the smell. Somebody had finger painted with – you guessed it – poop. On the toilets, on the walls, on the entire inside of the bathroom. Everywhere.
Let’s paint a picture here (pun intended), the person you are currently sitting next to while reading this article could very well have painted the bathroom with poop.
Think about that, you disgusting 20-something college student.
You probably thought this was
a one-time occurrence, right? Wrong.

Mary Dennie shared a similar story where a student enjoyed a finger painting session with excrements.
This time a Tingelstad shower received thebad end of the deal.

Burying the Bile

Students don’t just love to poop. All bodily fluids are extremely funny to them. Poop is “win
ning” but vomit is not faspittler behind.
“In Tingelstad, the vomit last year was like I’ve never seen… it was like every day, we were starting to have concerns that students had health issues,” Mary Dennie said.
Some students manage to vomit in the toilet, while others like to try and hide it. A few weeks ago, housekeeping staff found vomit in a trash can. Yet again, the student’s creativity did not disappoint. Cleaning staff did not find the vomit in the trash bag along with the trash that day. Instead, the person who vomited decided to remove the bag first, vomit, and when finished, put the bag back on top to hide the vomit.

“Toilet Ho-Ho-H-Oh My God”

Holiday season is upon us and PLU students are eager and bring their personal traditions of food, music and decorations to campus every winter. For most of us, this is a time shared with our loved ones with good food and hopefully some good surprises.
Students have been known to give surprises to the grounds and cleaning crews, too. One year, students in Foss decided to wish the housekeepers a Merry Christmas by leaving them a present.
With the best intentions, (Because what other intentions would anyone have during the most wonderful time of the year?) students got creative with their Christmas ornaments.

When it came to decorating, it seems the students couldn’t agree on where they would put the ornaments. There are so many options: tree, wreath, trimmings…
Instead, their plan to decorate Foss for Christmas went down the toilet. That’s literally what happened. And one kind student decided to leave his own surprise on top of the ornaments. If it’s still unclear to you what happened: a bunch of Christmas ornaments were put in the toilet followed by a student taking a dump on top. Environmental Services were gifted a very flooded bathroom that year.

Happy New Year’s Ewww

During Christmas and New Year’s Eve when most PLU students make their way home, diligent Campus Safety officers patrol the campus grounds and maintain order. With students gone, parking lots are left open for the use of neighborhood visitors. This past New Year’s Eve was no different.
Campus Safety also keeps the University safe by monitoring campus grounds and buildings with security
cameras. Some PLU students have initiated their relationships with Campus Safety when they were lucky enough to be spotted on camera doing very illegal activities. Sometimes, there are also lucky non-students who get to begin their Campus Safety relationship the same way.
On New Year’s Eve 2014, Professional Safety Officer Shawn Thompson had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of two campus visitors.
Thompson was on-duty the last night of 2014 and ended up having an eventful celebration. In the final hours of the year, a couple from a neighborhood party made their way to a parked SUV in a PLU parking lot.
What the couple was not aware of were the cameras monitoring the lot. The party guests appeared to be intoxicated as they made their way to the vehicle. They got in their car and, a while later, Campus Safety Officers watched the male get out of the car and proceed to go to the next car and and pee on it.
Thompson and his colleague decided to say something. By the time they got to the parking lot, the couple was up to other activities. Thompson knocked on the car door and told them they had to have a talk with them about their behavior. The man got out out of the car, barely dressed.
“He’s pulling up his pants, and she’s fixing her dress and getting that in order,” Thompson said. While having a conversation with the two, the female, hanging out of the back seat of the SUV, threw up on the car parked next to them “the girl just started spewing…and it hit the ground so hard that it splashed up probably to [her partner’s] knees.”
One unfortunate PLU student received a call saying they might want to come wash their car so the vomit and pee would not freeze.
Happy New Year to you. Friendly new year’s reminder: Students, someone is watching you. Keep your clothes on. Please.

Off-road, On-campus Trucker Bombs

According to the Marketing and Communications Department, Pacific Lutheran University has been named Recycler of the Year twice for recycling 70 percent of waste material and is constantly ranked in the top 15 of North American colleges in the “Recyclemania” Contest. Students cannot take full credit for this recognition. Some students have missed the point when it comes to recycling.
Many readers are probably not familiar with the habits of long-haul truck drivers. Truck drivers drive across the country coast to coast, border to border and they have delivery and pick up deadlines they need to meet. Sometimes when a driver is behind schedule, human needs are trumped by deadlines. Desperate times call for desperate measures. When nature calls – one way or another, you eventually have to give in and go. To avoid stopping, truck drivers save time by gatoradedoing their “number ones” and sometimes even “number twos” while driving. How do you go about this? If you have a bottle you’re set. The concept has earned the tasteful name: “trucker bombs.”
Truckers do their business in a bottle, then this gets tossed on the side of the road. You might justify and understand it; while gross, they gotta do what they gotta do.
Some PLU students are fascinated by this, or possibly practicing to become truckers themselves, and therefore have decided to adopt this piece of trucker culture.
Dennie explains trucker bombs have become a common find in recycling bins at PLU. It seems sometimes the struggle is too real when it’s time to go potty on-campus.

Hungry Hungry Hoarders

Environmental Services staff want to make sure that every student who moves into a dorm at PLU feels they have a clean room to live in. One would hope that people who are old enough to go to college would be able to keep their rooms relatively clean. However, staff often find weird things after people have moved out.
Sometimes, it even seems like students have intentionally left the room in a bad state. In South Hall, someone had hidden salmon under the vegetable drawer in the fridge. It was there for at least a couple of weeks, so when housekeeping found it, it did not exactly smell nice.
Speaking of food, a lot of people who live in dorms have meal plans. You would think the students would be able to eat enough when The Commons is open, but that is just not enough for some. PLU is apparently the home of future hoarders.
In one of the residence hall lounges, a student hid food under the cushions of the couch.
“I got a call about an apple core. We found a banana peel, a half eaten pork chop in a ziplock bag, and a bottle of salad dressing hidden under the cushion,” says Dennie. The possibly worst thing Dennie has found after a student has moved out of a dorm room was the remnants of a booger hoarder. Not just a few. Someone had stuck a whole load of boogers under their desk, Dennie said.
“One of the RAs says ‘we’ve got some stuff under the desk and I want to show it to you.’ They roll out the thing where your keyboard goes – the whole bottom of it was covered with boogers, someone had sat there in that desk for pretty much the entire school year ahoardersnd put all their deposits under the desk.”
According to housekeeping, the grossest dorm varies from year to year. This semester Tingelstad is the worst so far, Dennie said: “I would have to say Tingelstad is probably where we have the majority of our gross-ness issues. The majority of the poo that we find in unpleasant places is Tingelstad.”
Perhaps Lutes living in Tingelstad can think of this as a wake-up call and start being more cautious. Dennie explains that the easiest way for the cleaning crew to deal with the situations they meet every day is to think of the students as children “a lot of us working here are moms; sometimes it helps to think of the students as our children. It makes it easier to clean.”
In these four years, students will learn a lot about being adults and about themselves. Maybe they will even learn that poop is not a toy… or paint. Seriously though, stop shitting everywhere. 🅼

2 thoughts on “Sh*t happens

  • November 3, 2015 at 6:34 pm
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    I listened to your interview of the magazine on LASR tonight. It was entertaining and informative. I thought good questions and answers Good Job to you, your magazine staff and the interviewers on the radio.

    Reply
    • November 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm
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      Thank you, Carrie! We’re working hard to make listeners and readers feel heard and involved. It’s great to get feedback! Thank you for reading/watching/listening!

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