Restoring Order

With some hesitation—lest they give undergrads ideas—members of Northwestern’s heroic maintenance staff share memories of worst messes and more. Don’t try these at home—or in your dorm room.

Worst messes

  1. As a misguided prank, three dozen chickens were let loose in Stegenga Hall during the night.
  2. Guys in a third-floor Colenbrander room made their own hot tub, soaking the ceiling plaster of the second-floor room below until it fell down.
  3. A fire extinguisher was accidentally activated in the DeWitt Cafeteria kitchen.
  4. A pallet of paper dropped off a tractor lift in the middle of traffic.
  5. A squirrel took up temporary residence in Sittser Cottage.

Most common rescue requests

  1. Profs locked out of their offices need keys.
  2. Students and staff in the dark need bulbs.
  3. Folks in need of facilities need toilets unplugged.
  4. Students stuck with well-used furniture need help un-sticking their dresser drawers.
  5. Drivers need keys—which are locked in their cars.

Lost ’n’ found

  1. Maintenance members were “it” in a game of hide-and-seek that students played with Ramaker Library’s reference books. Some sources weren’t “sighted” until a year later!
  2. Maintenance staff re-screwed all the light bulbs and re-hung all the clocks “borrowed” from Van Peursem Hall.
  3. They found and replaced “lost” Rowenhorst Student Center furniture.
  4. They returned “misplaced” tables to the RSC diner.
  5. They collected caf’ trays and silverware from the campus lawn and delivered them to the dining hall.

“You’re busted”

  1. A guy was once found in a girl’s closet during closed-dorm hours. During his hasty exit, he mumbled something about “trying on sweaters.”
  2. A jammed storeroom door was finally unstuck. Whoever left their little “nest” forgot their sleeping bag.
  3. Late one night, the smell of soap and sound of squeals led to some scantily clad lads who were using Van Peursem’s halls as a slip ‘n’ slide. (This has been a recurring crime.)

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