By Bella Nesbeth

On Friday, November 4th, thousands of families flocked to Iowa to visit the hallowed halls of the esteemed Grinnell College. They were led on tours through the “boring” Noyce Science Center, the “newly renovated” Humanities and Social Sciences Center, and the beautiful “Anne” Harris Center. “No matter where we went on campus, the smell of absolutely wretched, filthy, abominable dookie seemed to follow us,” said London Hilton, mother of Madrid Hilton, Class of 2026. “Are students dropping deuces on that field over there?” Hilton questioned, pointing towards North campus and the suspiciously smelling MacEachron Field, fresh from ultimate frisbee practice.  

“My god! Y’all have a three-billion-dollar endowment and not one cent of it goes towards Febreze? What are your priorities? How can I eat from Smokey D’s Food Truck when it smells like someone just took a Smokey Dump! Are y’all prairie dogging on the CERA prairie? Seriously, it smells like a butt cheek on a stick out here!” Hilton continued to espouse a lengthy list of complaints but personally, I lost interest, so I walked away. 

We reached out to Dr. Mary Juana, an excrement expert who recently received her Doctorate in Scatology from the world-renowned South Harmon Institute of Technology in South Harmon, Iowa, to ask her for an explanation on the shitty aroma that Grinnellians sniff so often. “When the majestic Bos Taurus consume their daily intake of mixed grain, rotten hay, and corn silage, they head out to the cornfields and roadsides that surround this campus and create enormous and inedible cow pies. The pungent smell of cow manure is due to an organic compound known as skatole. Skatole is made up of the sulfur containing compound thiols, amines, and carboxylic acids. When the wind is fast enough to pick up a small child, it also picks up the smell and brings it to surround your campus,” said Dr. Juana. (My editors made me include this entire quote, citing “expert evidence,” but in my opinion she just gave us a long-winded answer to show off her education when she could have simply said “it’s cow poop from neighboring farms.”) 

Grinnell students have been staunchly opposed to the smell, forming a brand-new club called “Friends Expecting Collegiate Excelling Smells”, or FECES for short. We traveled to Park Street to catch them during their current protest inside of President Harris’s Office Bathroom. “As long as this campus smells like a bathroom, we will continue to sit here and prevent Anne Harris from using her own office bathroom,” said club president Kinsley Kardashian, Class of 2025. “We want to make this woman so uncomfortable and so full of her own shit, that she will have to meet our demands for a quality smelling campus.” When we asked Kardashian about the possibility of President Harris using the bathroom literally anywhere else, she said “I think we’re done with this interview,” walked to the other side of the room, and cried. Luckily, her best friend and vice president Brooke Simpson, class of 2026, decided to step in to finish the interview instead of helping her friend in her time of need. “It has smelled like this for years! We are tired of it!” It seems like Simpson has forgotten that she has only been on Grinnell’s campus for a little over 3 months.

On our way out of Anne Harris’ bathroom, I spotted the president and kween herself leaving her office and asked her her opinion on the matter. “While it certainly stinks that our campus constantly smells like ass, I think we can all agree that there are more pressing matters that plague this beautiful campus,” President Harris told us. “Like fair wages?” I asked. “Ok,” said president Harris, then flashed a large smile, jumped through the tornado-proof glass window, and ran to her car.