In the last two months, staff at Gelman Library and the Marvin Center have reported at least six instances of someone defecating or masturbating in one of the two buildings, according to the University Police Department.
Staff in Gelman reported that an unknown individual defecated on the edge of or near a toilet in the bathroom on Feb. 22, April 1 and April 15. A female student reported a person masturbating in Gelman on March 6 and there were two reports of a person masturbating in the Marvin Center on March 17. In the second Marvin Center complaint, the person reportedly masturbating was a GW employee.
“Library staff contacted [UPD] to report the situation when the messes were discovered and UPD is investigating the matter,” Susan Morrissey, manager of Entrance Services at Gelman Library, said in an e-mail.
UPD Chief Dolores Stafford said she thinks that the events may be related. UPD does not know the reason for any of these occurrences, she added.
“It’s a difficult thing to ‘stop’ since it’s occurring in private bathrooms,” Stafford said in an e-mail, referring to the defecations.
Morrissey said the library does its best to ensure the incidents are cleaned up as soon as possible.
“Certainly, these incidents are inappropriate and unpleasant,” she said. “By working with UPD on the matter, we hope to prevent any further such incident. We also work with Facilities’ housekeeping service to ensure that the restroom is cleaned and sanitized as quickly as possible.”
If any students feel uncomfortable, Morrissey said, they should contact library staff right away.
“Library staff walk through and monitor the building environment, including hourly checks performed during the overnight service,” Morrissey said.
Michael Peller, managing director of the Marvin Center, declined to comment.
This article appeared in the April 23, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.