One of the fourth floor bathrooms overflowed, spilling human feces and toilet water into the hallway of Gibbs Hall approximately 3 p.m. Monday.
According to Interim Housing Director Oscar Crummity, the problem started when a plumber from the FAMU physical plant was called in to work on a pre-existing problem with the water system.
“The plumber had to turn the water off to fix the problem. Upon completing his job, he turned the water on, and a valve within the fourth floor south bathroom stuck, causing the commode to overflow,” Crummity said.
Crummity said that by the time the problem was discovered, water had already entered some of the rooms on the fourth floor.
The incident caused property damage and displaced several students.
Marcus Bourgeois, a resident Marcus Bourgeois, a resident in Room 406, across from the bathroom, said water seeped under his door and affected several things in his room.
“Everything on the floor was ruined. My clock, T.V., PlayStation, phone charger; all that stuff shorted out. I want to know what they are going to do about it,” said the 18-year-old business administration student from New Orleans.
The water also leaked to the third, second, and first floors of the building.
In an interview with Crummity shortly after the incident, he said the Housing office is doing everything they can to rectify the problem including finding alternate housing for students whose rooms need to be cleaned and sanitized.
At 6 p.m. Monday, the housekeeping staff was busy cleaning the nine rooms affected, and attempting to call in a professional cleaning service to help with the problem.
Dale Rollins, who lives on the third floor of Gibbs Hall, came back from dinner to find puddles of water in his room. He spent Monday night drying out clothes and towels that got soaked when water leaked through his roof from the floor above.
The accounting student from Tampa said he wants to be paid for electronic items that were damaged.
“Me and my roommate expect re-imbursement for our destroyed property. That includes a speaker, black light and computer parts that were on the floor at the time.”
A small part of their ceiling was also caved in and dripping water.
Several minor things were also damaged in Rollins’ room, including a new box of washing powder, which was filled with water, food, posters and a new ironing board cover.
Rollins said the housing department didn’t seem to be sympathetic to his problems.
“There was poor assistance on the part of the (resident assistants). They didn’t even give me a mop,” he said.
“They didn’t seem to care, and they didn’t thoroughly check my stuff for damage.”
Crummity and his staff were assessing the damage Monday night, and said students should fill out a “Risk” claim for any damaged property.
“That claim will be filed with the state insurance office. I will provide a letter for each student with damaged property or equipment explaining that this was no fault of the students, and the University takes responsibility,” Crummity said.
Bourgeois said that’s just not enough.
“Personally, I want to get moved out of Gibbs free of charge. This is just disappointing.”
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