Feces found smeared in residence hall stairwells and public areas
THE SANTA CLARA
May 21, 2015
Students living in Swig Residence Hall awoke to a ghastly sight on May 14.
Human excrement was found smeared on several balcony areas, near elevator lobbies and on building equipment and fixtures, including elevator call buttons, handrails and door knobs in the residence hall, according to Mako Ushihara, Director of Housing Building Operations.
“I walked out of my room for my early morning class and saw brown stuff smeared on the girls bathroom door knob,” said freshman Amanda Fruhling, a Swig Hall resident. “I honestly thought it was chocolate! I ignored it and didn’t use the bathroom because I didn’t want to touch it. Then, after class, I went back into Swig and saw more smeared on the hand sanitizer by the elevator.”
Although housing does not have video footage of “excrement being maliciously spread throughout the building,” Ushihara said, the investigation into the incident has concluded.
“We are confident of the details of how this happened and who was involved,” Ushihara said in an email. “I can assure the campus community someone will be held accountable for their actions.”
Ushihara did not elaborate further about the identity of the perpetrator. However, he did say that he did not believe it was a “willful act of vandalism.” The only monetary damages incurred were the cost of labor for the specialized cleaning contractor and the cost of the custodial staff to clean the residence hall.
“I felt really sorry for whoever had to clean the building up,” Fruhling said.
An outside contractor who specializes in cleaning biohazardous materials was called in to remove the feces on May 15, according to an e-mail sent from Housing and Residence Life to Swig Hall residents. The custodial staff also cleaned all contact surfaces in hallways, elevators, bathrooms and stairwells.
“This was a preventable event, but we do not believe it rises to the level of criminal behavior,” Ushihara said in an email.
Contact Sophie Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4849.