Voters Called Upon to Elect the Nation's Messiest College Apartment

Students to Compete For $10,000 Grand Prize from

CHICAGO, March 20, 2002 - and today opened online voting for the third annual Messiest College Apartment Contest. is on a mission to clean up messy college students, one apartment at a time, and three Finalists are now lobbying for the popular vote on the Web site in a race for the $10,000 grand prize and a professional cleaning.

Although it was difficult to narrow the field between entries that declared, "something in one of the pizza boxes ate the TV remote" and students who "use a snow shovel to 'pick up' the clutter before guests come over," the Messy Team selected Finalists from Northwestern University, UCLA and the University of Minnesota. Disorderly items that stand out in their apartments include:
  • 900 square feet of clutter packed into a 450 square foot apartment
  • A road kill frog that has mummified next to a bed
  • Pasta that has turned into a moldy black powder
  • Immune systems, they believe that have grown stronger because of their living situation
  • A dead white Burmese python "living" in a freezer for more than a year
  • The personal items of three guys, one girl, a rat, a cat and a four-foot iguana
  • Flies so abundant they have to be sucked out of the air with a vacuum cleaner
To advance to the Electoral College of clutter, each Finalist had to rise above 35 other impressive entries from across the nation, including one that came from as far away as Anchorage, Alaska. For the second year in a row, 39 percent of the entries have come from women, including one who became a Finalist. Nearly 80 percent of the entrants attend a large university and the messiest class overall are juniors. Once again the Midwest produced the most entries, while California had the most participating schools.

How to Cast Your Vote - The public is encouraged to voice its opinion on the "merits" of each messy apartment by visiting and clicking on the Messiest College Apartment Contest logo. Citizens are invited to review the amazing photos, immerse themselves in the 360-degree virtual tours, read the hysterical "mess defense" essays and cast their votes through March 31st for the apartment they feel offers the most obvious example of out-of-control collegiate clutter, neglect and uncleanness. will accept one vote per unique email address each day. The winner will be announced on or around April 8th.

*** Editors' Note: Finalist interviews and B-roll packages are available upon request. High-resolution photos of the Finalists' apartments are available at

Fun Contest Facts
  • 61 percent of entries were received from males and 39 percent from females, oddly, exactly the same as the breakdown in 2001
  • 47 percent of entrants live alone, while 53 percent have at least one roommate
  • 79 percent of the entrants attend a large university, while 21 percent go to smaller colleges
  • For the second year in a row, the Midwest was the messiest region. The West came in second
  • 76 percent of all contestants opted to enter the Contest via the Web site, while 24 percent chose traditional mail service
  • 21 year-olds were the messiest age group accounting for 26 percent of all entries. 20 and 23 year-olds tied for second. There were even students in their 30s and 50s who live the messy lifestyle
  • 1 desperate dad entered his two college-aged sons who live together
  • Entry essays included these visual details of life in a college mess:

  • Rodeo-worthy bacteria
  • A roommate lost in the mess
  • A headlock being applied to a roommate who suggested cleaning
  • A four-month-old breakfast biscuit
  • A two-month-old rotisserie chicken carcass
  • An eater of only dry foods - "bowls with dry foods don't require washing."
  • Hairballs in crusty dishes requiring sandblasting to clean
  • A "manufacturer of funk"
  • An all-girl apartment being so frightful that boys dare not enter
  • Aggressive mold causing a loaf of bread to disappear
  • Students who drive to school to use the campus bathroom instead of their own
  • Apartments with a mandatory shoe policy for foot safety
  • Black banana peels that have become permanent fixtures in living rooms
  • Relocated sleeping areas due to inaccessible, mess-consumed bedrooms

  • Messy Entry Essay Quotes:
  • "Living area may actually be living . maneuvering may require gymnastic flexibility ."
    - Northwestern University, sophomore
  • "The living room is only occupied in emergency situations."
    - Purdue University, junior
  • "As far as garbage goes, we load up our trash cans with garbage like we were playing Jenga."
    - Ohio State University, sophomore
  • "I sleep on the couch, not because I don't have a bed - but because I have no way of getting to it."
    - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, junior
  • "Look at this freakin' mess! I haven't seen our cat or a clean dish for as long as I can remember."
    - University of Nebraska, Lincoln, sophomore
  • "I mostly eat dry foods - moist foods spoil, and the occasional uncovering of lost food devoured by fruit flies or microbial growth is disappointing. Cups that serve dry foods need not be cleaned."
    - Bradley University, graduate student
  • "Two skills my messy room has helped me perfect are stacking and memory."
    - UCLA freshman
  • "Shoes and socks are mandatory. It's a small place but the mess to square-foot ratio is VERY high."
    - IADT (Pittsburgh), junior
  • "We've got bacteria you could enter in a rodeo."
    - UCLA, senior
  • "Hey, I think something in one of the pizza boxes ate the TV remote."
    - University of Texas at Arlington, freshman
  • "We use a snow shovel to "pick up" the clutter before guests come over."
    - Ohio State University, senior