Not a joke: When students return to Syracuse University for the Fall semester, the school will “routinely test sewage leaving each residence hall to spot signs of the [COVID-19] virus,” so that sources of potential outbreaks on campus can be pinpointed (syracuse.com, June 4th).
Well, this should be fun.
The challenge, of course, is making sure that the poop exiting Dormitory A actually represents the poop of students who reside in Dormitory A, rather than the poop of visitors. As one anonymous Syracuse administrator put it, “it doesn’t help us much to quarantine everybody in Dormitory A if all the germs came from an intoxicated lacrosse player from Le Moyne College who stopped by that dorm to throw up on his way to another destination on campus. Or, for that matter, if the source is simply someone from Dormitory B who was visiting a boyfriend or girlfriend in Dormitory A.”
Anticipating this possibility, the Office of Residential Life at Syracuse will initiate a “Poop Where You Live” campaign in early August. According to the administrator, “we want to encourage students to do #2 ONLY in their home residence hall, and nowhere else. Flyers with inspirational messages will be posted around the campus reminding students that ‘The warmest toilet seat is in your own backyard’, ‘You can hold it till you get back, we know you can’, and ‘There’s no flush like your own flush’.”
Golf-cart shuttles operated by Uber drivers will be available 24 hours a day at every residence hall to speed students back to their home dorm in response to #2 emergencies. Not surprisingly, these shuttles will be known as “Loose Cabooses.”
Finally, taking a cue from polling locations that give “I voted today” stickers to citizens who cast their ballots on election day, Syracuse will distribute badges that proclaim “I’m fighting on the home front with my backside” to students who pledge to do their business in the building they live in.
Is that a 21-bun salute we hear in the distance? Hats off, and boxers and panties down, in honor of Syracuse University!