Montclair State University sent out an alert to students via text message along with a notice of room changes on Canvas due to a pipe burst in Bohn Hall on the first day of classes.
Many classes had to change their schedules due to significant leakage. Some professors even had to relocate their classes in the middle of their lesson, including professor Bridget Brown, who was teaching her writing course.
“We evacuated [room 492] when the fire alarm went off and then were directed to re-enter,” Brown said. “But at that point, water was cascading down from the ceiling in the hallway between the classrooms.”
Brown said she and one her students were fortunate enough to grab their belongings after an inch of water already covered the floor of the classroom.
According to undeclared freshman Mari Zuniga, a student in Brown’s college writing class, it was a bothersome disruption to their lesson.
“I couldn’t see the actual pipe burst, but I saw all the water coming towards me,” Zuniga said. “It was a bit of an inconvenience because it happened 15 or 20 minutes after class had started, and it was pretty cold outside waiting to go back inside after the fire drill to finish [class].”
Zuniga and her classmates ended the class day early and had to move to another classroom for upcoming classes. According to Zuniga, the new room was hard to find.
According to Brown, first-year writing instructors have online backup plans in case of unpredictable cancellations.
“I was able to connect with some of the students afterward outside of Bohn but decided to cancel the class meeting rather than try to find an empty space to use for the rest of the period,” Brown said.
Last year at the beginning of the spring semester, there was a similar pipe burst in Bohn Hall, and it was suspected to have been vandalism. That particular incident underwent an investigation by the University Police Department (UPD).
According to a written statement from UPD Capt. Kieran Barrett, these two incidents are unrelated.