Letter to the Editor: Ben Phillips

To the Editor,


Over the summer of 2014, I worked as a custodian for Facility Services. I worked in nine different campus buildings, including the former Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) house. Along with a backed up sewage pump that flooded the Big Exec laundry room, the most disgusting messes that I encountered were in SigEp.

Towards the end of the 2013-14 school year, SigEp found out that they would not be getting their house back. I remember hearing rumors floating around campus that the members of SigEp were going to trash their house before vacating it, which turned out to be true.

My crew of custodians arrived at the house in early July, and it was a total mess. There were stains all over the floors and walls of nearly every room and hallway, as well as anonymous brown stains on the ceiling of the living room and the large room in the basement. I am not sure what exactly caused these stains, but they covered the basement ceiling and it took me nearly an entire day to clean it.

I was shocked to learn that what I had seen was not even the entirety of the mess — a professional crew had already been through and cleaned up the worst of it. I was told that they found piles of clothes in the bedrooms that had been soaked in urine. I cannot believe the amount of blatant disrespect that the members of SigEp showed to the place that housed them for so many years and, more importantly, to the people who had to clean up after them.

The same group of people who have a history of disrespectful behavior towards campus has recently received a house for next year — the house that is currently Artistic Expression House. How do we know that this behavior will not continue? Why should they even be given a second chance?

It baffles me that Campus Life would allow a group that trashed their last house to have another one after only one year. It also concerns me that the new SigEp house will be across the street from regular Appleton residents. SigEp wasn’t as visible to the Appleton community in their house on the Quad, but now, they will be representing Lawrence in the City Park neighborhood. Is this really the image that Lawrence wants to give off?


– Ben Phillips, class of 2015