Disclaimer: This article was written in a moment of passion after the flooding. It should not be taken as an endorsement of anger, but an expression of it. As the last paragraph states, ” Residents of the T, this is the time you prove yourselves. Be adults.” This applies to interactions with all Goucher community members effected by the flooding, including the student who caused it. In no way do the thoughts or opinions of the writers act as the thoughts and opinions of the Quindecim Newspaper.
On the night of Monday, September 9, some reprehensible human being set off the sprinkler system in the T. We Q editors had been sitting in the Q office since early afternoon editing and laying out the newspaper, so we did not learn of the incident until approximately 11 p.m. The initial rumor was that someone had been smoking in his or her room and had set off the sprinkler system, and, while we were frustrated, we assumed it would be just a temporary inconvenience. Since we still had a few hours worth of work to get done, we assumed that we would be able to return to our rooms when we finished up editing. But that was not the case. Apparently, the sprinklers didn’t just spray for a few seconds and then shut off. Instead, they kept flowing for minutes on end, soaking everything with what was, apparently, some amount water rivaling Noah’s flood.
We soon learned that all residents of the T would be unable to return to their rooms – by this time it was well after midnight, and this, of course, set a few of us off.
Those of us who live in the T know that the fire alarms in the building will go off for just about anything – smoke, weird smells, and even burnt popcorn, which is obviously not a fire.
But we digress. The real issue here is the inconvenience for the students. The occasional fire drill is frustrating but understandable. But a student setting off the fire sprinkler, thus ruining thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of possessions and displacing a great deal of the student body from their beds is just ridiculous. Chris, for example, has tried to play nice and remain patient with some of the idiocracies and hypocritical behavior he has observed over the last three years, but this is where he draws the line. We here at the Q are frustrated because it means that not only do we have to spend all day in the Q office, we also must now sleep in the Q office – but of course, many people don’t have the luxury of having a quiet space with a couple of couches where we can crash during this whole ordeal. Not only that, but our books and electronics are quite possibly severely damaged (we wouldn’t know, since we can’t get into our rooms long enough to check them), and how are we supposed to replace all of that? Someone else’s bad decision shouldn’t mean that we lose half of our possessions. That’s simply unacceptable.
We realize that sprinklers are an important safety issue for a number of reasons, but we feel that something really needs to be done about this. Although the sprinklers are a safety feature of the building, they are now causing safety hazards. The building’s electrical system is likely damaged, and sitting water can grow dangerous molds and bacteria that can make people seriously ill. In addition, the air conditioning system could be compromised because of the water and begin distributing dangerous molds and bacteria throughout the entire building.
Regardless of how this happened, we’re sure it was unintentional. Still, the situation resulted from someone blatantly ignoring their common sense. You are not supposed to hang anything on a sprinkler; you are not supposed to cover smoke alarms, and you are not supposed to make decisions that result in the suffering of other students. It’s incidents like these that make us feel as though we understand why God sent Noah’s flood. It’s hard not the wonder whether the student who caused this will drown in the rising tide of anger over this whole thing, but at least we editors get sleep in the Q office and avoid the waters.
A final word to all Welsh Hall residents: in these frustrating times, it is easy to become angry at our staff. Please don’t. The officers of public safety and the FMS staff are here to help. We’ve heard a few stories about students yelling at the staff members – one public safety member even told Sam about being cussed out by a students on Tuesday. This is not appropriate. Residents of the T, this is the time you prove yourselves. Be adults.