The Great Flood

For three straight weeks The Signal has published an article that involves mold at the College. This week’s issue features the sprinkler pipe break at the New Residence dorms, which has kept several students out of their rooms because of mold.

This situation has been poorly handled by the College.

My room was right next to the pipe that broke on the third floor. At the time, I was in my room and felt a wall start to rumble as the fire alarm rang. I ran out of my room only to see water flushing out of the room next door and spilling from the ceiling.

Eventually we were allowed to go back into our rooms to grab any belongings that we needed. My room was flooded and everything from my bed to the bathroom was saturated with sprinkler water. My computer, monitor, Playstation 2 and books were all drenched. Hopefully, the College will properly reimburse those affected by the flood.

Students affected by the flooding had to find somewhere else to sleep last Tuesday night. The College supplied room 202 in Brower Student Center for students to stay. Students were given bare mattresses to sleep on (see page 3) – nothing else, not even a couch from a lounge. Only a handful took the College’s offer; most like myself found a friend’s room to stay in for a night or two.

The College should have offered to put students in lounges, where a couch is much more comfortable to sleep on than a mattress without sheets or pillows.

How could a water pipe that is in the hallway ceiling freeze and cause such havoc? There must be something wrong with the way the pipes were installed and the temperature was maintained.

It seems like a lot of the maintenance jobs in buildings are shoddy and not thorough. It was explained that dehumidifiers would be used to dry the rooms so mold would not grow. Students were also told to keep the dehumidifiers on because the concrete under the carpets stays wet and carpets would grow mold if proper care was not taken.

Unfortunately, when I came back to my room, it smelled like sour milk and the carpet was still damp. After gathering my stuff in the room for about five minutes, I began to sneeze and cough and my breathing worsened. I do not even have asthma. The smell did not come from garbage or wet clothes because I had disposed or washed those items. However, the smell came from the carpet right under my bed. If the College was so worried about the mold issues in affected rooms, it would rip out the carpet and properly clean the rooms that were badly affected. My room will probably grow mold because of the warmth and saturated state of the carpet.

They said that it was okay to live in my room again but if the living conditions were too horrible I could find another room on campus. Luckily, I was given another room where the air did not affect my breathing.

But what happens if mold does grow in the room, especially when the weather becomes warmer and summer vacation sets in? Will students who move into that room breathe in toxic mold from the carpets?

In this case, severely affected rooms should be treated like the Metzger Drive apartments before it becomes a huge health issue.