Smell on campus disturbs students

For TCU students, stuffy nose season has come at a perfect time. Across South University Drive, more and more students have been noticing an unidentifiable “funky smell” surrounding the academic side of campus.

It has been described as “something awful” by some students.

“It smells like a sewer,” freshman business major Jordan Mendiola said.

When walking to class or strolling through campus, some students have detected a foul odor near Beasley Hall, J. M. Moudy South and Steve and Sarah Smith Entrepreneurs Hall. Others have noticed the smell around the dorms and Ed Landreth Hall.

Sara Safi, a graduate student, noticed a smell in front of the Mary Couts Burnett Library and in front of Winton-Scott Hall.

“It smells like rotten eggs,” Safi said. “It reminds me of Easter, like someone forgot to find one of the eggs in the yard.”

However, students have said the strongest smell lurks around the areas surrounding the construction site of the Harrison building behind Beasley Hall.

The campus wide question, as of yet unanswered, is “what is that smell?”

Project Manager Kevin Psencik, said the smell could be a result of soil turnover.

“We’re digging pretty deep in the soil which has been compacted and decaying,” Psencik said. He said an unpleasant smell can come from the mixing of decaying and compact soil during the construction process.

Matthew Landy, a project engineer for the construction of the Harrison building, said the “funky smell” could be coming from the bathrooms on site.

“It’s probably the Porta-Potties,” Landry said. “Those things stink to high heaven.”

Currently, there are about 30-40 workers on site who must share four portable bathrooms. He said the stalls can be moved all around the site, which might cause a crop dusting effect of smells.

He said the bathrooms regularly get emptied every two days, but they can still leave an odor, especially on windy days.

Richard Bryan, associate director of operations, said the smell could also be a result of natural gas.

“What people are most likely smelling is natural gas that is released by the regulators on gas meters installed on campus,” Bryan said. “Natural gas is odorless so what you smell is an additive that is mixed with the gas for safety purposes.”

Because this is a normal function, Bryan said there is no need for worry. 

Psencik said the Harrison building project is set to be complete by the end of the year, so students will only have to endure the smell for a few more months. By the beginning of the year, the “funky smell” will be a distant memory.