Thanks to Concerned Father for pointing out that that the our cri du poo has made U.S. News and World Report.

Williams’s War on Errant Poo

Williams College is having an excrement problem, and everyone —- administrators, custodians, students, and the school newspapers’ editorial board —- is begging the putrid perpetrators to stop. Since the beginning of the semester, custodians have executed six “excrement-related bio-cleanups” on campus, the Williams Record reports. And just this past weekend, workers discovered five vomit-soiled toilets, along with a broken urinal and a damaged bathroom mirror. School officials have questioned its students’ “human decency” and worry about their much “abused” custodial staff.

The Williams Record has also taken a hard stand against this sloppy bathroom behavior. “The volume and variety of these bio-incidents indicate that this is everyone’s problem. While only a few people may be making the messes, by standing silently on the sidelines, the majority of us are implicitly accepting this behavior. If the only noise the majority of us make about this issue is grumbling after the fact when our houses are slapped with fines, how can we expect change?” Bold words for trying times.

Hah! Comments:

1) No such thing as bad publicity.

2) Note that this item is not from U.S. News itself. This is just a blog, The Paper Trail, maintained by U.S. News. I wouldn’t be surprised if their readership is less than that of EphBlog. Moreover, the overlap of that readership with people whose opinion Williams might care about is certainly smaller than, say, College Confidential. Want to worry about bad publicity? Worry about this thread.

3) I have yet to hear any hard evidence that there is more vomit clean-up and public urination going on this year than in past years. And, I know from experience that just because College officials get in a tizzy over something is not reason enough to conclude that this year is different. Could the Record please do some better reporting on this topic? How many bio-cleanups of what types have there been in the last few years?

4) What makes any of this newsworthy is the poo. But, even here, we have exactly 6 incidents, quite possibly all caused by one individual. (Is there enough genetic information in a poo sample to determine for sure that this is one individual? To determine gender and race? How expensive are such tests?) This is, obviously, a bad thing, but much of the reaction seems overblown. (Still, the topic does now rate its own category at EphBlog.)

UPDATE: By the way, we still need a good nickname for this contretemps. Suggestions? EphPoo? Poo Fighters?

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