I am a senior graduate student and share an office with 3 other post-docs and graduate students. We recently had a first year graduate student join our lab for a rotation and he has been placed in our office. This new student has intense body odor, to the point where you can smell it in the hallway outside our office when the door is open. I have asked my other office mates what to do about it and their responses have ranged from "I don't notice it" to "Yeah it's bad but there's nothing we can do about it/I'm not saying anything".
To me, there is no way one can't notice I have found it distracts me from my work. I imagine my advisor has noticed, but so far no one has mentioned anything and I have been the only one to bring it up with anyone else. I've asked friends who work in industry what they'd do, and they say "don't say anything but immediately report it to HR", which doesn't particularly help in my situation.
As the semester is coming to a close, it's only getting hotter outside and the rotating student will be present more often in the lab. I'm afraid to say anything because
- I don't want to make things uncomfortable, especially since we need to train him;
- I'm afraid I'm being culturally insensitive as he is a foreign student.
- He may have a medical, religious, or other reason that leads to the smell, and I don't want to offend.
Because this is an academic lab, I have no access to an HR department. Any advice?
A related question (which was not closed) can be found here. In this question, and those found on The Workplace SE, most answers are "tell him privately and nicely", but I'm worried about being insensitive because he is new, I haven't gotten to know him personally, and he may have cultural, religious, or other reasons for not wearing deodorant.