Catch a whiff of Vandenberg

By Rory McCarty

Since the beginning of the semester students passing through Vandenberg Hall’s lower level have been complaining of an unpleasant aroma hanging in the air.

Now the stench may finally be gone, but few people can say for certain what actually caused it.

The area where the odor was strongest was by the south entrance near the help desk.

Opinions about what the stink smelled like run the gamut of vile, nose-wrinkling items.

Vomit, bad cheese, feet, rotting garbage, dirty laundry and backed-up toilets are just a few of the things brought to the minds of students by the smell.

“I think it’s a health risk,” said Louie Alkasmikha, a freshman biochemistry major.

He said that he noticed the smell since he enrolled, and he thinks whatever is causing it may be unsanitary.

“Just a few days ago, it was so strong I had to run through this area,” he said.

Adam Silverthorn, a business major, said that the problem was probably not so serious.

“It doesn’t always smell like this. The dorms don’t smell like this,” Silverthorn said. “Just Febreeze it or something.”

Dominique Florence said she noticed the smell, and she knows that all of her friends noticed it every time they walk through.

Others, like Lisa Hylenski, did not notice.

Many students pass through the area on their way to classes, their dorms or the cafeteria.

But even some faculty members have complained about the stench recently.

“I’ve heard people walk through and say, ‘What happened in the hall? Did someone vomit out there?'” said Garry Gilbert, interim director of the journalism department.

Gilbert’s office is in the journalism wing of Vandenberg.

Some staff in Vandenberg have talked about the stench as well. Dan Bickerstaff, a cafeteria cook, said he thinks the smell may be caused by a sewage backup.

Other students and faculty have said they think the smell may have been caused by a broken vending machine or leaky pipes under the cafeteria.

However, many maintenance workers suggested that the smell was probably coming from the machine room near the elevators, or possibly from the drains.

Staff from Vandenberg and OU’s plant maintenance say the issue has been addressed, although no one is able to say for certain what originally caused the smell.