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September 21, 2023

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Incidents in BGSU residence halls affect many

Students who live in residence halls could be charged extra due to their neighbors’ behavior in the bathroom.

Some residence halls have had incidences where students have pooped in shower stalls. Sometimes the consequences affect more than the person who committed the crime.

Charging the entire floor for excessive cleaning or damages to common areas when the responsible individual is not identified is known as community billing, said Tim Shaal, senior associate director of Residence Life.

Since putting signs up in the second floor bathroom of McDonald Hall that said, “Please do not poop in the showers. If this is a regular occurrence, the whole floor will be charged,” the action has stopped, Shaal said.

“It’s a rare occurrence because a majority of the time we can identify the individual involved and we prefer to hold the individual accountable,” he said. “It’s rare; we might do it one time a year.”

Freshman Blair Bishop said she started, “cracking up,” when she first saw the signs.

“I took a picture with my phone and I sent it to one of my friends because I thought it was hilarious,” she said.

She also said she has experienced several other “disgusting” incidents in the McDonald bathrooms.

“The most disgusting thing I’ve ever witnessed was downstairs in the basement,” she said. “Someone poured curdled milk in multiple sinks and not only did it smell disgusting, but it looked disgusting and I did not use that bathroom.”

Bishop said these bathroom incidents make her wonder how clean the bathrooms can actually get.

Freshman Mia Bell said she has experienced someone throwing up in the shower while she was in the bathroom.

“I was freaking out,” Bell said. “I feel like I need to wear tennis shoes in the shower now, my flip-flops just aren’t cutting it. I feel like I need a HAZMAT suit.”

Ultimately, Shaal said he didn’t think one building had more issues than the rest.

“Every year is different,” he said. “It has more to do with the community and who lives there than it has to do with the building.”

Shaal said when situations like this come up, the hall directors communicate to Residence Life what the issue is and make recommendations of what needs to happen.

As far as the students’ voice, he said they try to address that through hall council and often hear complaints after they have introduced community billing as an option.

“We may get a student who says I didn’t have anything to do with this and we’ll have to evaluate that on a case-by-case basis,” Shaal explained.

Community billing is not used as a threat, only when it is actually considered an option.

“If we are going to bill a floor or community we will let them know ahead of time, so the community can help us identify who is doing this,” he said.

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