Rockefeller College, the premier example of the Collegiate Gothic style in the country, grapples with a base phenomenon: students defecating or urinating in places other than a toilet or urinal.
On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Rockefeller Head of College Clancy Rowley sent an email to Holder Hall residents about “human feces found in the trash can in the men’s bathroom.”
Holder Hall resident Simran Khanna ’22 was shocked by these incidents.
“Holder is one of the better halls in Rocky. It’s generally cleaner and nicer, but this is shifting my attitude toward Holder,” she said.
Human feces were also found in a shower stall and human urine was found in several trash bins in Rocky’s Campbell Hall in 2017.
Additionally, bottles of human urine were found in trash cans outside Forbes College this October.
Last fall, Koert Chen ’21 discovered that his trash bin, which he had left outside his door for collection, smelled of human urine. When he checked his email, a message from Director of Student Life Amy Ham Johnson confirmed that someone had indeed urinated in several Campbell trash bins. In an attempt to find those responsible, individual residents were called into the dean’s office for questioning — to no avail, according to Chen.
That same fall, a “pile” of feces was found in one of the men’s showers in Campbell Hall.
Wearing nothing but towels and shower shoes, Rocky-Campbellites had to sprint outdoors to the nearby Mathey half of Campbell when they needed to shower, according to former Campbell resident Jasper Lee ’21.
The frequent incidences of urination and defecation soon rose to infamy.
Stories and pictures of the feces flooded Snapchat and filled dining hall conversations, according to Lee. Speculation about the “Campbell Crapper,” as well as expressions of envy toward hotel-like Witherspoon Hall became all but a pastime for afflicted students.
As the “Campbell Crapper” evaded capture by the administration, Campbell residents tried in vain to stop the incidents and call attention to Campbell’s lack of amenities.
Jackson Blitz ’21 wrote a long email to Rowley and Johnson with the subject line “Urgent Campbell ‘Hall’ Renovation.” In the email, he compared Campbell to a four-story family home with two parents and ten boys, outwardly appearing as a luxurious mansion, but lacking basic amenities for all of its residents.
“I can guarantee that you would be stunned to learn that there is only one toilet and even more appalled once you set your eyes on that toilet,” Blitz wrote.
On May 4, 2018, administrators installed a keycard lock on the bathroom doors, supposedly tracking entrances, according to an email from Rowley on May 3, 2018.
Soon afterwards, feces was found on a wad of paper towels outside of the women’s bathroom, and later, a pile of fecal matter sat mockingly in the building’s sole water fountain.
The most recent events continue to raise questions for some residents about the character of University students.
“People are so strange. Why would you do that? The toilet is two feet away. It’s not inconvenient. I don’t get it,” Khanna said.
“People need to check themselves,” Buyers Hall resident Hunter Worth ’22 said. “I would not expect something like that to happen here at Princeton. I don’t think crapping anywhere besides the toilet is a good thing, I don’t care how much you have to go.”
Since this month’s incident is the first to occur at Holder, the University will not take immediate action to find the responsible party, according to Rowley’s Oct. 17 email.
“If it persists, we will need to launch an investigation to determine who is responsible, and take appropriate action. This will likely involve interviewing every resident of entryways 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, and the College will also explore the possibility of installing a SALTO lock on the bathroom door,” Rowley wrote.
Worth, however, advocated for immediate action.
“They should DNA test that poop and find out who did it. I’d rather die and take multiple chem midterms than share a room with them ever. It’s not because of stress, it’s because they’re dumb. I’m stressed, but I would not poop in a trash can or a water fountain. It’s human decency,” he said.