By Jada Haynes
On November 1, Georgia State University resident assistants (RAs) started warning residents to get all their electronics off the floor and unplug everything. Patton Hall was flooding. Not long after the warnings, water began seeping under closed doors and students put towels down to no avail.
According to many students, including a Corvias employee, Patton Hall’s property management firm, the flood was allegedly caused by a third floor resident and his girlfriend attempting to have sex on his bathroom sink.
Ivan Lichtenstein, a Patton Hall second floor resident, returned from home Sunday night to find water in the lobby. He figured it was just a side effect of the constant rain.
“Then I went up and I realized it was some sink or something that must have been broken…Nothing really got damaged on the inside of my room, but there was damage in the wall, so I had to be sent to the Commons,” he said.
Jimmy Scott, a spokesman for Corvias, said Patton’s third floor was flooding out of someone’s sink, because it “was ripped off the wall due to student misuse.”
Scott said a remediation team arrived to Patton Hall less than two hours after the report. Since then, they’ve been working to minimize the damages. However, the flood limited elevator access and kept students from using the laundry room for a couple of days.
By the time Lichtenstein reached his floor, he discovered maintenance was already working on cleaning rooms and hallways out.
“They were trying, but they couldn’t really do much because there was a big problem,” he said. “There were a couple maintenance people there, but it wasn’t enough to fully fix it…I think they did the best that they could with the task that was at hand and time constraints too and stuff like that.”
According to the Georgia State University Housing Community Living Guide, “floods happen primarily due to carelessness or vandalism by others.”
However, Mary Romestant, Corvias’ Regional Operations Director, said floods like this only happen once or twice a year.
Scott said approximately 30 students were impacted. The Sunday night it happened, the maintenance crew told students to leave because the equipment Corvias used was too noisy.
After the RA on duty called residents and confirmed where they would be staying for the next couple of weeks, it was up to the students to get there.
Bins were provided in the lobby for residents to roll their clothes, toiletries, schoolwork, bedding and any other personal items they needed to the dorm they were assigned. Even then, it wasn’t guaranteed that the room would be vacant.
Corvias doesn’t yet have a projected date for when everyone can move back. Instead, Fallon Thacker, Patton’s Resident Hall director, will call students when their rooms are ready.
Shannon Corey, interim associate director of Housing, said she intends to work with the housing department to see what can be done to make dorms safer, and teach students ways to work with housing to achieve this.
In the meantime, depending on where they were moved to, relocation also affects the ways students go about getting to their classes on time.
“Since I’m living at the Commons, it’s a longer walk for me to get to my classes,” Lichtenstein said.
Until Patton Hall’s reparation, Ivan and many others will still need to find alternate routes.
According to Scott, Patton’s third floor rooms are dry, and the damp rooms on the second floor along with the walls of the first floor’s common area should be completely dry by now. Since the damaged walls were demolished, a company has been restoring them.
Laura Rudicel, Corvias’ Communications Manager, said since Patton Hall bathrooms are equipped with floating sinks, residents shouldn’t sit on or add any additional pressures to them.
Corey said students should treat their dorms like their home away from home.
“Specifically, we encourage students to refrain from activities such as flushing items in toilets that are[n’t] flushable and using furniture and fixtures inappropriately or for items/activities they are not made to withstand. Additionally, we ask students to be observant and to report any issues they notice quickly to the appropriate staff members.”
If need be, maintenance requests can be filled out online. Issues regarding facilities can be resolved by calling the on-duty RA, whose “duty numbers are posted within the halls,” or the dorm’s front desk, Corey added.
This story was originally published for The Signal.