Feces found in stairwell of Larned Hall

A resident reported feces in the west stairwell between the third and fourth floors of Larned Hall last Friday morning, according to Glenn Cochran, associate dean of students/director of residence life and student conduct.

Cochran said the R.A. on duty was called by a resident a little after 2 a.m. Friday, April 3 reporting the incident. He said the R.D. on duty, Jay Hurtubise, “believed it to be fecal matter based on appearance and smell.

“I talked with somebody who had seen a large pile of what they believed was probably dog feces outside and I don’t know if someone thought it would be funny to scoop – I didn’t know if someone stepped in it and scooped it off boots or trailed it in,” said Cochran.

He added the stairwell was closed off for emergency use only until it was cleaned by facilities around 7 a.m.

So far there is no suspect, according to Cochran, who said the records of who was signed in as guests and residents will be reviewed, but asked for the person or people responsible to come forward. He said there was no camera in the stairwell, adding cameras are generally in entries, perimeters and elevators.

“We just don’t know enough about what happened to explain it more than that,” said Cochran, “but we do ask that all of us keeping our eyes open will help prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.”

Cochran encourages students with information to contact residence life,

campus police, an R.A. or an R.D. “It would better for the responsible party to come forward than to be identified later.”

Jessica Linehan, R.D. of Larned, sent an email to Larned residents explaining that they could be charged for the cleanup since the stairwell is considered a common area.

Daniel Ghirardi, senior Larned resident, said he found out about the incident when he received the email from Linehan. “It basically explained that it was poop and it was unhealthy to go near. It’s ridiculous.”

Not all residents were pleased that Linehan said they might have to pay for the incident. Kira Fitton, freshman Larned resident, said, “I think it’s ridiculous that we all have to pay for it. It makes it look like anyone can do what they want and others have to pay for it.”

However, Gianna Zipolo, freshman Larned resident, thinks the residents should be fined. “I think the cleaning ladies shouldn’t have to deal with that.”

“It is still being investigated, so nothing has been finalized, but because it is a full stairwell it would probably be a common building area charge,” said Cochran, adding areas like stairwells, main lounges and elevators are considered common areas, and charges are determined on a “case by case” basis.

Cochran said facilities determines the charge based on the number of workers, special supplies needed and how long it took to clean.

“If something happened in a stairwell on floor x, and there were a large number of guests on floor x, and all night long it was loud and rambunctious … then that charge might get put to floor x and not the whole building,” said Cochran.

According to him, nothing like this has happened before. “On occasion, there may be an issue in a bathroom, but not in the stairwell that I recall. I think that reflects how our campus resident culture is really in general. People generally take very good care of the buildings.”

Cochran said the incident is “not representative of residents,” and that it’s, “just not how people want their home treated.”