The dirt on the Big Dirty and the C.R.O.C

The mystery behind the two rooms called, the “C.R.O.C.,” and the “Big Dirty” is finally revealed.

Jared Leingang, Reporter

The mystery behind the storage rooms in the Brouillet Library/Science Building has been revealed.

The storage rooms, called the Coolest Room on Campus, also known as the C.R.O.C. and the Big Dirty are found downstairs in the LSC in rooms 112 and 170. They’re monitored…by professor Tom Bush and he explained the story behind these peculiar names.

“In the late ‘90s, I had a student who was a geology major and then became a lab assistant and when she first came back into the room and looked at all these samples she said, ‘Wow, look at all these great samples. This has got to be the coolest room on campus,’”’ Bush said. “So, I decided to make a little sign and put it on the door that says ‘Coolest Room On Campus’ because of all the samples in there and what my former student had said about it.”

In the C.R.O.C., 82 types of minerals and rocks that are studied by the GEOL&101 students, Bush said, along with camping equipment for the trips that are headlined by the geology team as well. One of those trips is the story behind the Big Dirty, which resides down the hall.

The room received its name from all the donated maps, rocks and minerals that were being placed on the counter in the room over the years. Eventually it became a big mess along with items collected from a field trip to Centralia, Bush said.

The field trip to the Centralia Coal Mine was part of an environmental geology class. Students learn about half a dozen different types of coal and their names. One of those types of coal is thick with impurities from volcanic ash and is also called the Big Dirty seam Bush said.

“During the time of these field trips, the room just kept getting messier and messier,” Bush said. “This other student decided to call the room across the hall the Big Dirty and name it after the Big Dirty Coal seam at the Centralia Coal Mine and I thought it was a great idea.”

The Big Dirty since has had the maps filed, the rocks organized and has lost its trademark look. It’s now used as storage for lab equipment, books and as a workspace for laboratory assistants.

“The Big Dirty is not all that dirty anymore,” Bush said.

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Jared Leingang

The dirt on the Big Dirty and the C.R.O.C

by Jared Leingang time to read: 2 min
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