Editor Speaks Out: A very disgusting wake-up call for university students

By on October 5, 2005

Urine leaking from our bathroom ceiling into our shower is just what my roommates and I wanted to wake up to on a Saturday morning. The carpeted hallway outside the bathroom was saturated, the ceiling was rapidly dripping, and the wall was forming a bulge. We put a garbage pale under the drip in the hallway to catch the curious yellow liquid and immediately called security to fix the problem. After 45 minutes of unanswered calls and voicemails, we were finally directed to a live voice. How is it almost impossible to contact security on a college campus?

Someone quickly arrived at the Hill – an hour later. The security guard examined the scene and proceeded to remove a tile from our ceiling, splashing buckets of urine into our shower. He then decided to place the urine saturated tile on top of our sinks, next to our toothbrushes and above our shower caddies. When we asked him to put the tile back up so that it wouldn’t be in the vicinity of things we use to clean our teeth, he pointed to his uniform as if to say, “Do you girls seriously think that I’m going to get that stuff all over me?” Ok, sir, don’t ruin your white shirt. We’ll just deal with yellow toothbrushes. He fussed with something in our hall closet and told us that he would contact facilities. However, facilities wasn’t answering any of his calls. He didn’t know when he would be able to get in touch with them or when they would be able to get to our room. Leaks were not a matter of huge concern and he didn’t know what else they were taking care of around campus. I guess a urine infested bathroom isn’t a priority.

We sat in the common room and listened to drops of urine splash the garbage bag every few seconds. A few hours later we received a knock on the door from facilities. Our knight in a club cart finally made his long journey up to the Hill. His visit was brief. He went to the apartment upstairs from ours and fixed whatever he had to fix up there. Apparently there was a problem with their pipes that caused our leak. He came back downstairs with a fan to dry the carpet and put the title back in the ceiling. He left. Thanks for the help!

They never came back to replace the soggy title with a new one. They never came to clean and disinfect the bathroom and the hallway. That was our responsibility. Many rubber gloves and bottles of Comet disinfectant and Lysol Cling later we cleaned the bathroom. The stench lingered for a few days and the title above the shower has a yellowish-brown stain. We couldn’t salvage our shower curtain or bathmats and we weren’t reimbursed for anything.

The lack of attention and urgency given to us was not only inappropriate, but ridiculous. How is a urine leak not an emergency on campus? When did a plumbing problem, accompanied by a disgusting health issue, become the students’ responsibility to mop up?


About Lisa Odierno