Bathroom crimes reach 36-year high

Nicholas Tillinghast/Miscellany News.

As the 2023-24 school year kicks into gear, authorities have expressed concern over an unprecedented rise in bathroom-related criminal activity at Vassar College, including cubby thefts, failure to flush and leaving large amounts of hair in the shower. Although the Office of Safety and Security declined to share specific bathroom crime-related statistics, they did confirm that they have been receiving record numbers of reports, and several students spoke anonymously to The Miscellany News to share their stories.

“The shower hair situation is unsustainable,” one said. “On Monday, I went to shower, and the walls were 100 percent covered in hair. It was revolting. I felt like I was inside of a bear, or what it would feel like to be inside of a bear if the inside of a bear looked like the outside of a bear looks. You see what I mean?”

Nobody did. But other students, too, have expressed concerns about the fuzzy showers.

“Last time I showered, there was a hairball the size of a fully mature wombat,” an uneasy junior told The Miscellany News in an email. “I’m pretty sure it was looking at me. I shower fully dressed, so it wasn’t a big deal or anything, but it was still kind of weird.”

Hair has also been spotted coating the sinks in every dorm building—except one, according to plumber Everett W. Pipes III. 

“A lot of times, when people shave, they don’t pay any attention to where all that hair is going, and so it just sits in the sink and clogs everything up,” Pipes said. “I’ve been called in eight times this week already, and that’s not including my pro bono work. At this point, I’ve been to every dorm except Lathrop. There are never any issues there because all the students are bald.”

Cubby thefts have also been increasing at a disturbing rate. Although official statistics were not made available to The Miscellany News for this investigation, one expert, who described himself as “Poughkeepsie’s premiere toilet detective,” estimated that between three and 87 percent of students have been the victim of some form of cubby crime already this school year.

In some cases, items have gone missing from cubbies, but in other, even more concerning instances, contents have been removed and the cubbies repurposed for sinister uses.

“One morning, I was in the bathroom, and when I went to get something from my cubby, all my stuff had been taken out,” a distraught first-year student said. “In its place, there was a miniature boxing ring with two grasshoppers beating the living heck out of each other and a bunch of other grasshoppers standing around and gambling on the fight. When I asked them where my face wash had gone, the grasshoppers just laughed and asked whether I wanted to bet on the challenger.”

The Miscellany News was not able to independently confirm the veracity of this report, but it comes as a spate of similar crimes have stricken fear into the hearts of bathroom-using students across Vassar’s campus.

“Honestly, personally, I’m not leaving my stuff in the bathroom anymore,” one sophomore said. “My roommate said that it was all made up, and her cubby got turned into a pie stall. Like, there’s a guy back there, and he sticks his head through the cubby and sells pies. I saw it myself.”

In some ways, however, a new normal seems to be emerging. Although Noyes residents were initially incensed by the theft of every toothbrush in the building, when polled, 74 percent said they had come to appreciate the eight-foot abstract toothbrush sculpture which appeared soon after in the MPR.

Even the student whose cubby was co-opted by pie vendors had to admit that the situation was not without its silver linings.

“I know it doesn’t seem super sanitary,” she said, “but the guy gives me a discount sometimes, and ultimately, you have to applaud the ingenuity.”

“Besides, the strawberry rhubarb is delicious.”

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