Munsell faces flood on fifth floor

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Giovanni Solano, Editor-in-Chief

 

On October 31, at 1:15 a.m., Campus Safety was notified that the fifth floor of Munsell was flooded.

The fifth floor of Munsell sustained two to three inches of water. “I woke up to my residents’ frenzied pounding on my door. By that point, the water was well into my room and several others’, “ said Will Teichman, Resident advisor for the fifth floor of Munsell.

Physical Plant staff worked through the night on water extraction. “We sent over as many guys as needed to handle the problem,” Jim Blumberg, director of physical plant, said. Out of the total 16 night shift custodians, 11 were taken from their usual job to deal with the flood. “We were still cleaning up by morning.”

The cause of the flooding was vandalism.  An individual stuffed rolls of toilet paper into a toilet, which caused the overflow of water. The culprit is unknown, but Campus Safety is looking into the matter. Physical Plant suspects that it had been overflowing for two to three hours.

“We had people moving furniture, fixing ceiling tiles, fixing the fire alarm system that was damaged by the water,” Blumberg said.

“I’m really proud of the work of Campus Safety, Residence Life and Physical Plant in responding to this incident,” Carney-Hall said.

The water leaked to lower floors through the stairwell, ceiling tiles and utility conduits. The water damaged the fire alarm system, and Munsell residents were temporarily evacuated.

All 29 residents on the fifth floor of Munsell were displaced as a result of the flood. They were given the options of staying the night in a friend’s room or staying in a room in Gulick. According to ORL, nine students chose to stay the night in Gulick.

Fifth floor residents were allowed to return to their rooms at 1:00pm on Tuesday.

We have not had an incident of this magnitude in my time here that impacted student rooms in this way,” Dean of Students, Karla Carney-Hall said.  

“The university says it was vandalism. By the strictest definition of vandalism, I don’t think that’s an accurate statement,” Teichman said. “I think what happened was an action borne of stupidity and lack of forethought. I don’t believe that one of my residents intended to damage university property or their floormates’ possessions.”

“I’m really disappointed by the immaturity, destructiveness and disregard for others reflected in this behavior,” Carney-Hall said.

The total cost for the damage has not been calculated yet. The decision on how the cost will be split has also not been determined.