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3 key takeaways from University Health Services’s campus wide email

University instructs legal adults on how to wash their hands.

GI cases email
An email to the entire University community informed of a dire new issue on campus.
The Daily Princetonian

In a break from their usual updates on lewdness, on March 1, University Health Services (UHS) sent a campus-wide email regarding an increase in gastrointestinal illness cases affecting undergraduate students. Trying to stay relevant as the number of COVID-19 cases on campus declines, UHS offered groundbreaking techniques for improving personal hygiene. While little is known about the particular strain’s source, UHS dispels certain rumors about its origins. 

Here are three takeaways from the email: 


Gastroenteritis is a real word. 

What is gastrointseritis? Despite starting with “gas,” it has nothing to do with gas stations or gasoline — it refers to the prefix “gastro,” meaning related to the stomach. According to UHS, some symptoms are “nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.” 

Aside from visiting the McCosh Health Center, UHS advises students to drink lots of fluids. They stated, “Increase your intake of fluids, such as water, tea, sports drinks and soup broth, to prevent dehydration. While the illness is short lived (24-48 hours), dehydration is the biggest concern.”

Following this period of fluid intake, the University suggests it is appropriate to transition back to a diet of Monster Energy Drinks, Four Lokos, and leftover coffee found on the ‘Free Food’ listserv. 

Undergraduate students have terrible hygiene habits.

The email specifically announced a surge in undergraduate student cases. UHS outlined some hygiene tips like, “Wash your hands frequently and carefully with soap and warm water, and always after using the bathroom.” 


The University hyperlinked a “how-to” video on washing hands, which guided students through the process of applying soap and drying their hands. 

Other precautions to take are cleaning surface areas and clothing.

There has been no news yet announcing whether Wintersession will release a Hygiene 101 session or whether incoming first-years will have to attend a mandatory hand-washing FYRE event, although these developments may be in the works.


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University staff shouldn’t have to tell grown adults — or even grown children — to wash their hands. It’s not elementary school anymore. Or is it? 

Maybe college is just a glorified elementary school; students already struggle with washing their hands, so how will they be expected to understand the email if they can’t even spell gestrointestigialisis? 

Frida Ruiz is a contributing Humor writer at The Daily Princetonian. She always sings the ABCs while washing her hands; you should, too.