In the late evening of Sept. 7, Lucy Fleming ’16 opened the dryer in the Saybrook College laundry room to an unpleasant surprise.

Her clothes were soiled with human feces, and it took the physical delivery of the excrement to the Saybrook Master’s Office to catch administrators’ attention.

In the past several weeks, an unknown individual or group, who students have dubbed the ‘poopetrator,’ has repeatedly defecated in students’ laundry, leaving many fearful about the safety of their clothes. After an additional episode was reported on Sept. 26, Saybrook Master Paul Hudak announced that Yale Police has officially joined the investigation and is seeking further information.

“We have asked our students not to leave their laundry unattended, the affected machines have been thoroughly disinfected, and we are actively seeking information about who the perpetrator might be,” Hudak told the News. “That’s about all we can do.”

The incident has sparked concern throughout campus. Although Yale Police could not be reached for comment, the Yale College Council said in an email to the News that they would speak with the Council of Masters to see whether any changes to laundry access need to made.

On Sept. 6, Fleming said, two other Saybrook students — Fleming’s suitemate and her suitemate’s boyfriend — were first targeted, as their clothes were soiled with urine and food waste. The next day, when Fleming’s clothes were also urinated upon, she re-washed and dried them only to find that excrement had ruined them.

“I simultaneously wanted to throw up, cry and punch someone,” Fleming said.

Many students expressed desire to have the Saybrook laundry room watched by security guards — but in the meantime, Saybrook undergraduates have already taken matters into their own hands. Students have been standing watch over the machines, said Camille Fonseca ’16.

But she added that most students think the severity of the incidents warrants 24/7 security.

“It’s ruining people’s quality of life,” Fonseca said.

Although several students reported rumors that the incidents have since spread to other residential colleges such as Silliman College, administrators have not confirmed whether this is the case. For now, most of the concern is still focused on Saybrook, and several students — such as Mitchell Jones ’16 of Berkeley College — said they would not feel comfortable doing their laundry in Saybrook.

Of a dozen students interviewed, all said they wished to see the perpetrator disciplined. However, opinions diverged on what the exact punishment should be.

Owen Kaye-Kauderer ’16 said that because the ideals of trust and character touted by the University had been violated, the individual should be expelled, while others said the situation warranted a more rehabilitative approach involving mental health resources.

“The fact that this could happen at Yale is shocking to me,” Fleming said. “Think about what this means for our community.”

At least four incidents in the Saybrook laundry room regarding soiled laundry have occurred in the past month.

  • joey00

    That is so disgusting . I’m eating some breakfast and *ralf*..Tales from the Crypt..
    Beyond any , oh man..Maybe , I mean besides someone literally removing clothes,deficating upon them , returning them to their rightful place..
    Maybe it’s a sewer backup ? A clog in the pipes causing waste to overfill here ?..!

    • inycepoo

      No. Chunky amounts of human excrement does not just “end up” in washing machines through pipe clogs.

      • joey00

        Probably right. Then you have a very sick person who is either a resident of the college or an employee

  • lakia

    DNA from poop and urine.
    Then swab the mouths of everyone who has swiped in and out.
    This has been going on for a MONTH and police were just called?
    At this point Yale as culpable as perpetrator.

    • inycepoo

      lol nbd let’s just get the DNA from both the poop and everyone else.

      Have you any idea how much DNA analysis costs?

      • lakia

        Not as much as treatment for hepatitis.

        • inycepoo

          Untrue. Every Yalie must have health insurance, and hep drugs are always covered. DNA analysis, no.

          Also, unless people eat clothing, no hep is going to be transmitted, so I don’t see how this is relevant. Fecal-oral and blood are the main transmission pathways.

      • Person


    • M75462

      be sure to get a fresh swab first.

  • lakia

    Not only just disgusting. It’s a health hazard. AND some mentally deranged person is loose on campus.

  • patrick bateman

    “mentally deranged person is loose on campus.”

    Let’s not kid ourselves. We all know the perpetrator of this crime is the type to end up on Wall Street, where he will no doubt continue to perpertrate even more crime.

    • Gregale

      You’re right. The perp will fit right in with the #OccupyWallStreet crowd.

  • Steve Hayes

    Installing a security camera in the laundry room would probably solve this problem.

  • Phrank Martian

    “This never happened when my mother did my laundry for me, I should ask her how she removed the feces from the wash when I was growing up” —Said one student.

  • lemonchip

    pliiis stahp poopman. hab merci on us.
    ~thank yhu

  • cpick

    If victims have been randomly targeted, it’s disgusting. If not, I wish I’d thought of it.

  • AnAlumnus

    Leave it to YDN, Yale PD, and the Yale administration to miss a work of art, even when it hits them like a stinking pile of shit.

    This is clearly an act of the avant-garde, not a criminal mind. Defying bourgeoisie standards of etiquette, and destabilizing the hegemonic “clean/dirty” binary (which itself is underpinned and constructed by hidden economic, racial, and gender ideologies) our intrepid defecator (though perhaps we cannot assume that the artist recycled his or her own byproduct) juxtaposes the filthy with the sanitary, making the thought-provoking suggestion that we are all full of it, always and at all times, even at our most pristine.

    That is a message every Yale affiliate can appreciate.

    Far from a crime, this might be constitutionally-protected expression.

    – YLS Alum 2012 (need a lawyer?)

    • Goldie ’08

      Just like that sketch from this past season of Portlandia

    • yalie

      Alas, these groundbreaking works of art may have been mere forgeries, the earthiness of the originals replaced by the ersatz, cloying presence of nutella.

      I may have to rethink my evaluation of art at Yale in light of this travesty. Real art should be highly personal. It should flow from the very core of the artist.

  • Nobody of Consequence

    “The fact that this could happen at Yale is shocking to me,” Fleming said. “Think about what this means for our community.”

    I’ll tell you what it means. It means that your community contains some really nasty, dirty people. I washed my clothes at a townie laundromat in East Rock for ten years and never had a poop issue. And some of the Yalies look down on the townies. At least we’re not pooping in each other’s laundry, you nasty people, you… ew… *shudder*

  • josh

    This gives me fond memories of Fall 2002, when THE EXACT SAME THING happened in Swing Space, where Berkley, Stiles & Morse freshman were being housed. It was a one-time affair, and I believe the afflicted machine was empty, but the concerned campus authorities decided to give us brand new side-loading laundry machines (as opposed to top loading) to thank us for our troubles.
    Bright college years!

    • M75462

      If they put it in the dryer it makes a wonderful fuel for fire….. like they do in Obama’s native land

  • Robert Little

    “Mystery Stool at Safety School”

  • yalemom

    I am letting loose a wail of shame and fear! A sad day for all Yale students, faculty, janitors, and most of all parents.

  • Brian

    In 2006, there was a similar issue in Branford except someone kept shitting in garbage bags.

    • M75462

      and they lit them on fire on the dean’s porch?

  • George

    How could something like this happen at Yale? It would NEVER happen at Harvard, Princeton, or Columbia. Just saying…

  • Robert Little

    Brown is the new Yale.

  • contrapasso

    Expulsion would indeed be a fitting punishment for this offense.

    • M75462

      I think they already expelled
      e i e i o

  • morse09

    To all members of the Yale community:

    Consistent with federal reporting requirements and in order to increase awareness of personal safety, I write to let you know that Campus Police have responded to several vandalism complaints in the Saybrook College laundry room. Though we continue to probe into potential suspects’ hideaways, we fear they may already be on the run. What little information we possess may go straight down the tubes if the community lacks the intestinal fortitude and moral fiber to push through with leads. Do not be overly retentive with information. Be confident that we will sanitize any tips provided to preserve anonymity. And for those who may be accessory to the crime, know that we will wipe your slate clean in exchange for help in clearing our system of waste (false tips, cold leads, and the like).

    These explosive outbursts absolutely reek of the intent to smear Yale’s reputation; do not stand by as the suspect drags our good name through the mud and recklessly leaves skid marks in his wake.

    The suspect, approximately 10 inches in height, was last seen wearing an earth-toned bodysuit. He was accompanied by several other suspects costumed as ghosts.

    If you should witness suspicious activity, please report it immediately to the Yale Police at 432-4400. By the next moon, we hope to lay bare the perpetrator of these dirty crimes, swiftly scooping him off the streets whence he shall be cast into the very bowels of the correctional system.


    Chief James A. Perrotti

  • sweet_sue_ohio1

    Why are there no security cameras in the laundry room?


    The turds cost 1.25 extra

  • M75462

    Oh the freshmen down at Yale get no…..

    Oh, excuse me. You Bonesmen are such scamps.
    Future world leaders practicing your shits while in school.

  • Vivian Epps

    WITH THAT COLLEGE AQUIRING HIGH FEES TO ATTEND, IS SO LAME-CHEAP TO HAVE AS STATED”the effective machine were thoroughlt disinfected”, WELL THAT OR ALL MACHINE THAT WERE FECES CON=MINATED, SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPLACED WITH BRAND-NEW MACHINE AND THE INFFECTED MACHINES BE THROWN INTO THE TRASH—-I wouldn’t want to use such machine regardless of it being disinfected—all of the waste particle did not disappear for some fell through cracks–duhhhhhhh

  • walter12

    Maybe someone does not like all the communists, Marxists, arch leftists, and Obamanites that go to Yale nowadays.

    • NorCal Native

      Most likely a Retardlican mad that he didn’t get his way.

    • Bigmouth

      Maybe someone needs to learn to use their words and not fling poop like a primate lol.