I’ve been saying for a while now that Ivy League students are really just 5 year-old children trapped in 20-year-old bodies. To most of us, the flurry of passive-aggressive listserv bitchfests and the occasional grade-induced emotional breakdown have become little more than commonplace. But recently, a rogue Yalie has taken that immaturity to a new level, urinating and defecating in multiple loads of laundry on campus.
News of the feces-laden scandal, which quickly came to be known as “Poopgate 2013” (or #poopgate2k13 for the Twitter-inclined), was circulated largely by word of mouth within Yale’s Saybrook College before an email from Saybrook Master Paul Hudak sparked mass hysteria among the greater Yale community later that night:
Someone has been doing weird, creepy, and (frankly) disgusting things in the Laundry Room. This must stop immediately. If you have observed something of this nature, or know who the perpetrator might be, please let me know. I can’t imagine why someone would do these things, but it has got to stop, and we will take measures to be sure it does.
Thanks, -Master Hudak
Saybrook students unaware of the nature of said “disgusting things” quickly took to social media to investigate, and it was only a matter of hours before news of #poopgate2k13 had become the go-to discussion topic of the semester. Who was this so-called poopetrator, and what drove him/her to commit such a violent crime against human sensibility? Was the attack targeted, or a wanton act of mischief?
Not long after, the victim of one of the attacks came forward in an anonymous interview with Rumpus Magazine:
To be honest it was mostly pure unadulterated incredulity of the are-you-fucking-kidding-me variety. I mean, the entire reason my laundry was in this top dryer in the first place was that someone had already urinated on it in the bottom dryer [emphasis ours], so I had to rewash the whole thing (with extra detergent). And I remember having thought back then, Well, at least they didn’t poop on it. But there you go.
I did send an email to the Saybrook Master’s Office that included my plan to instigate a Laundry Vigil, which was not entirely a joke. My suitemates and I are still considering it, since now two of us have had our laundry urinated on. It’s an epidemic apparently.
In the days following the incident, rumors and allegations spread throughout the Yale undergraduate community, creating a sort of modern-day witch-hunt hysteria—except instead of talking about who was boiling newts in their backyard, everyone was talking about the person who was hopping up on dryers and shitting into peoples’ clothing, as well as his unfortunate victims. Some people drew more amusement out of the debacle than others—a suite two floors below mine threw a “Dirty Laundry”-themed party last weekend.
It wasn’t long before reports of repeat offenses in other residential colleges began to circulate, mostly via anonymous tips to Rumpus magazine’s “Rumpchat”, though it wasn’t clear if they were committed by the same poopetrator or by copycat offenders. None of these rumors were confirmed by any authority figure, however, fueling further ‘he-pooped, she-pooped’ speculation and conspiracy theories of an administrative cover-up.
As of now, there has been no decisive resolution to Poopgate 2013. Recently, however, several students have been citing rumors that the poopetrator, allegedly a female sophomore, had been apprehended and disciplined accordingly. Which really begs two questions: 1) how on Earth was s/he caught? and 2) what would an appropriate punishment be for the convicted? Reprimand? Suspension? Have his/her own clothing pooped on by our newly-installed president, Peter Salovey?
One of my friends from high school, a sophomore at Grinnell College, recently tweeted about a similar incident at her school. Someone call in the Department of Education, because this literal shit is getting out of hand. Forget Molly or Adderall or Tinder, laundry pooping is apparently the latest trend among college students these days. God help us all.
May God have mercy on our souls.