Shower damage announcements were forged

A student in Jonathan Edwards College posted false notices around campus early Wednesday morning that threatened fines for students who masturbate in the shower, according to several students who said they wished to remain anonymous.

The fliers appeared in the bathrooms of several residential colleges, including Berkeley, Calhoun and Silliman, as well as the Vanderbilt Hall dormitory on Old Campus. The notices, which sported Yale letterhead and were purportedly signed by the director of Custodial Services, demanded that students desist from masturbating in showers due to the danger of pipe bursts. Associate Vice President for Facilities Operations John Bollier said the letters were a prank.

The notices said that if anyone damaged University property while showering, the residents of all suites sharing the bathroom would be fined $50.

“Pleased be advised that masturbation or any other form of sexual self-gratification in the shower is prohibited pursuant to the Yale College 2005-2006 Undergraduate Regulations,” the letters said. “Much of Yale College’s plumbing infrastructure remains un-renovated and is not in the condition to handle semen.”

Bollier said his department had not posted the letters. Burst pipes usually occur due to cold winter weather rather than blockages, he said.

“Generally we don’t get burst pipes for reasons other than freezing,” Bollier said.

Gabriel Winslow-Yost ’08 said he found the letters to be amusing, especially because he originally believed they were real.

“It was all official-sounding, but also ridiculous,” he said. “It didn’t inconvenience me. Most pranks tend to be funny, but they cost me some time.”

But Jordan Corwin ’08 said he thought the letters were obviously forged, especially since they appeared in his bathroom at 1:30 a.m.

“From the first time I saw it, I thought it was fake,” he said. “I don’t think enough people were taken by it to be considered a good prank.”

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