Dear Tulane, U Nasty. A letter to the Administration and Student Body about hygiene.

Dear Tulane, U Nasty.

A letter to the Administration and Student Body about hygiene.

Simran Rajani

Recent uproar over Tulane’s Only the Audacious fundraising campaign has made waves on campus for two reasons: firstly, because the results of our sexual climate survey warrant far more attention than any shiny new buildings. And second, because what existing facilities we have, live in, and learn in, are frankly… nasty. Before we get crazy pouring money into more of the new, how about we get some of the old back in working order?
Dear President Fitz and Tulane Administration,
The student body is concerned about the unhygienic nature of our residents halls.
We believe that moldy bathrooms, bed bugs, and cockroach infestations should not be another “normal” aspect of dorm life, especially given the price tag of living on campus.
The Rival has taken it upon itself to survey as many students as possible about their experiences relating to hygiene in campus facilities. Aside from one positive response, all 85 were negative– more that 20 being the length of a standard paragraph. Students’ anonymity will be protected unless permission was attained.
Freshman Sara Good was asked to move out of her room the weekend before returning from winter break due to a bedbug infestation. When she finally came back to a, “bedbug free,” but messy room, her belongings had been clearly mishandled. A couple weeks later, she and her roommate faced another infestation of bed bugs. Despite the hassle of a mid semester move, she had no choice but to move out again. Meanwhile, some of Sara’s belongings were lost during the second fumigation process. Though she is slowly recovering from this debacle, she is not alone. She tells us that she still feels “traumatized and extremely paranoid about bed bugs and any bug bites”. Further, she feels that,
“The way administration treated the situation made me think they did not take it seriously enough. Students’ health, well-being, and success is on the line. Bed bug bites can cause low grade fevers and fatigue.”
Bed bugs are the first huge problem that these buildings have, and the simple fact remains that one experience like this is one to many. Administration, what can be done about this problem, and what will you do?
Next: Bruff. While we’re fortunate to have a wide variety of food available to us, some of the sanitary issues reported concerning Bruff are too serious to ignore. For instance, one anonymous student told of her shock when she took a bite out of a, “chicken sandwich that was completely raw.” Another response read, “the back corner of Bruff has an ant infestation.” Other complaints of moldy tomatoes and living insects in Bruff food were appalling. This is something that needs to be immediately addressed by the administration. With the Tulane Commons under construction– something we Tulane students are very excited about and thankful for– we hope to see an improvement in cafeteria hygiene, but we can’t wait for the new Bruff to open its doors for a more hygienic cafeteria experience .
Dorm bathrooms are another area of concern. Josephine Louise hall, known as JOLO or J.L. and one of the oldest buildings/residential halls on campus, was reported to be especially problematic. One girl in JOLO reports, “the showers in Josephine Louise hall are very old and unmaintained. There is mold, they’re never clean, and there is barely any water pressure. It’s like standing under a tap with drops of water falling out of it.” Another wrote, “the showers in JL were not cleaned over winter break.” There’s more where that came from. But why? These students are paying above the market value of nearby houses to live there.
And JL is not alone. Sam Recile affirms that there has been, “a nearly continuous infestation of latrine flies (Fannia scalaris) in the Monroe Hall fifth floor male bathroom, along with two backed up sinks filled with sediment and filth.” Another respondent reports, “urine and other fluids cover the halls of Sharp.” “The Monroe 8 bathroom has mold growing in it,” said another. Worst of all, and confirmed by other members of the same dormitory who would like to remain anonymous, one student reports, “literal shit rained from the ceilings in our bathroom. It took them a week to clean it all up.”
These conditions are unacceptable and unsafe. Please help us. Students should not feel that they have to walk to LBC to use the bathroom or Riley for a decent shower. Hire more cleaning staff, renovate old dorms… whatever it takes.
We are asking that a portion of funds from the Be Audacious campaign be dedicated to fixing these issues so we can live on a safer, cleaner campus.
Thank you for your consideration,
Tulane’s student body
And to the Tulane Student body itself…
It’s about time we take some responsibility for this issue as well. Some complaints included, “There’s been a used tampon in the Butler stairwell since September 19th,” and “There’s been puke in the MO4 showers for 4 weeks.” These complaints are not the fault of the administration. I mean, why the hell would anyone take out a tampon in the stairwell in the first place? We can prevent that. Puke in the toilets, not on the floor. Clean up your own messes. Stop shotgunning beers in the bathrooms with your floor-friends. It’s time that, in the light of this topic, we learn to respect our space for ourselves and others.
Be responsible for your own messes, or don’t make them at all. We can help do this together.
Roll Wave.
-The Rival

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