As she prepared to end her undergraduate career a semester early, Mackenzie Schlosser BA ’15 MA ’16 wanted to leave her mark on the University, in a matter of speaking. From the moment she returned to campus in August, Schlosser committed herself to a deceptively simple task: pooping in at least one bathroom in every building on campus before the end of the Fall 2015 semester (Dec. 19). Her adventures are anthologized on the aptly named blog “Wesleyan Pooping Challenge,” subtitled “One Girl. One Semester. Over 70 Bathrooms.”
“I wanted to poop in every single building on campus, but just one bathroom per building, nothing too intense, and I really went about it and it was fun,” Schlosser said.
In addition to just pooping in each building, Schlosser evaluated them according to an extensive list of criteria. Top-notch bathrooms could earn up to twenty points.
“I had a really arbitrary 20-point system,” Schlosser said. “There are 10 different categories: the core general cleanliness, location, functionality, toilet paper, toilet flushing mechanism, [etc.].”
Ultimately, the President’s house received the highest possible marks, at 20 points, though it incorporated four “bonus points” due to the novelty. The Admissions Office and The Center for African American Studies tied in second place, with 19 points.
She began planning last Spring by consulting a map of the University, but instead found it easier to list all buildings according to level of difficulty to access. Among the buildings of the “medium difficulty” grouping were dorms for which key card access is necessary. In order to fulfill this task, she employed the help of the undergraduates for whom she is a teaching assistant.
As far as accessing locations, Schlosser found ways to be flexible with her requirements with regard to off-limits buildings. At the risk of incriminating herself, she merely shared that she had found a way to access the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) building in a way that satisfied her requirements. On her blog, Schlosser offered up the bare minimum of information regarding her top-secret escapades.
“I managed to nab DKE,” she wrote. “Top secret. May post details at a later date.”
Other buildings currently off-limits, such as the Psi Upsilon (Psi U) and Beta Theta Pi (Beta) fraternity houses, were easier to access as a result of serendipitous timing: Schlosser, who conducts her research in the Chemistry department, arrived on campus prior to the Fall semester early enough to coincide with the departure of the houses’ summer residents, before access was barred.
For the most part, however, locations on campus were rather easy to gain access to, though sometimes it took a bit of schmoozing to get past the front desks and into the bathrooms. A trip to the Human Resources building required a lengthy chat with the payroll staff in order to gain access. Though both a challenge and obviously a necessary stop, the atmosphere wasn’t the most exciting one she encountered.
“IT’S CRUNCH TIME,” Schlosser wrote on her blog. “It’s coming down to the fricking wire and I need to poop in so many places. I hit up Human Resources today after having a lovely conversation about payroll with the woman working there. Decent digs, nothing special.”
Perhaps the greatest challenge of all, though, was gaining access to University President Michael Roth’s house.
“The most difficult was President Roth’s house because I actually had to speak to him and ask him to let me into his house,” Schlosser said. “For early graduates, we had a little party thing in Michael Roth’s office and once the party was ending, I got [him] alone and I asked him whether or not he would let me into his house so that I could poop in his house…. [He then] invited me a to party he was having the next day and told me just to show up and that he wouldn’t kick me out if I did. So the next day I walked over at the allotted time and walked in. He saw me and he recognized me and he smiled and shook my hand and then pointed the way to the bathroom.”
Now that she is safely on the other side, Schlosser can strut across the campus with a level of comfort and confidence that one can only attain by knowing that they have pooped in nearly every building at the University.
“I’m happy that I get to walk through campus and look around me and think I’ve been in almost every single bathroom in every single building,” she said. “[Most students] go through the entire campus not even knowing that some buildings exist [such as Russell House] and probably didn’t know that there are all these little places.”