At approximately 10:45 a.m. Sept. 30, Darnall Hall first-floor resident Joe Massaua (SFS ’25) was shocked to witness a flood in progress outside his dorm room.
“I was doing homework in another room and then I come back and I hear this whooshing noise. I’m on the other side of the dorm, in the other hallway, and I see water rushing out of the bathroom,” Massaua said in an interview with The Hoya.
On Sept. 30, water began to rush out of the first-floor men’s bathroom in Darnall while university maintenance staff worked to fix several broken toilets. The water then flowed out into the hall and into several of the surrounding rooms, causing flooding in residents’ personal spaces, according to a university spokesperson.
While university staff attempted to fix a toilet that appeared to have been tampered with, clean water began pouring out of the toilet, which built up and spread into the hall and several student rooms, according to a university spokesperson.
University maintenance staff have removed damaged furniture and items from the student rooms and will continue to deal with the damaged rugs, according to the spokesperson.
“Custodial staff removed the water and then removed rugs and other damaged items; they also mopped and sanitized student rooms,” the university spokesperson wrote in an email sent to The Hoya. “We continue to clean and replace the damaged rugs.”
According to Michael Oddo (SFS ’25), maintenance staff cleaned his room and removed his damaged items after the flooding occurred.
“The maintenance staff, when I was gone, ended up going into my room and poured soapy water on the floor and then vacuumed it all up,” Oddo said in an interview with The Hoya. “They also put all of the containers that were under my bed, dripping with toilet water, on the top of my bed. They also took all of our rugs and put them in one of the showers. Currently there are like eight wet rugs left in one of the showers that they haven’t dealt with.”
Oddo came back after the damaged items were removed from his room to find his personal belongings drenched in water, with no explanation or guidance from university officials.
“The toilet water seeped into a bunch of the containers and I had to throw away a bunch of food. I had to put everything away when I got back and replace my bedding since it was drenched with toilet water,” Oddo said.
This incident is one of the many issues with facilities that Darnall residents have encountered since the beginning of the fall semester, according to Massaua.
“We’ve had other issues with our toilets as well. The girls’ toilet overflowed and it was all over the floor,” Massaua said. “I think we had maybe two toilets, when you would flush them, they would just squirt out water, so that’s what they were coming to fix.”
University facilities staff previously responded to a separate incident in the Darnall first-floor women’s bathroom Tuesday, Sept. 28, where two toilets were clogged and overflowed, according to the university spokesperson, who said the water did not flow beyond the women’s bathroom.
University staff are doing what they can to resolve the issue and prevent similar occurrences in the future, according to a university spokesperson.
“University officials are investigating whether this incident was intentionally caused,” the university spokesperson wrote. “If so, any community members found to be involved will incur disciplinary action via the student conduct process.”
However, students still remain frustrated with the lack of communication between university officials and Darnall residents.
“I didn’t get any emails or any info about what to do if anything was destroyed,” Oddo said. “I was just left with the torn-up room when I got back. For the next day or so, maintenance people walked around and surveyed the floor, but since then, that is it.”
Oddo said he was grateful the situation did not result in any permanent or complete damage.
“I’m glad nothing was completely destroyed, besides the rug, I guess, but it definitely was not the best thing to come back to after a ‘Problem of God’ midterm,” Oddo said.