Efforts have intensified in the search for those responsible for the Bohn Hall pipe burst that occurred on Jan. 29. The Office of Residence Life is offering a reward for information regarding the incident that has since been increased from $200 to $500.
Since the pipe burst on the 13th floor, the case is still under investigation. No information has been released to students about why the incident is being ruled as vandalism and not the fault of the building.
“The damage to the initial item was determined to be criminal mischief as the damage was consistent with purposeful intent that could only be caused by human intervention,” said university police Capt. Kieran Barrett. “What detectives will attempt to piece together is whether it was intentional or accidental as well. The police department does not find [university] fault as you mentioned and explores all avenues of cause to either prove or disprove a case.”
This has caused students to wonder if the pipe burst was really caused by vandalism or not and if the person did it on purpose or by accident.
“I think maybe it was on purpose but [they] didn’t expect it to like…get as big as it has,” said freshman exercise science major Michael Alfarano.
While some think the person responsible did it on purpose, undeclared freshman Victoria Santiago said she believes the person kicked the flusher accidentally.
“[My friend and I] flush the toilet with our feet so if something like that happened maybe they kicked it and they were embarrassed, and they left or something and it got worse than things had to get,” Santiago said.
Freshman computer science major Bria Haughton was not as skeptical of the vandalism.
“I honestly think it was an accident because the flush-o-meter is the handle,” Haughton said. “Someone probably hit it too hard with their foot.”
Others like Rayane Yamout, an undeclared freshman, blamed the fact that Bohn Hall is an older building and in need of repairs.
“I honestly do not believe that the incident was vandalism because it’s an old building that falls apart on the daily,” Yamout said. “I think it was an accident, but that they’re pushing it as vandalism to get a scapegoat.”
In a Twitter poll sent out to students on The Montclarion’s Twitter account, over 50 percent of those who responded said they believe the cause of the flooding to be vandalism.
Another concern from Bohn Hall residents regarding the pipe burst is the university’s community damage billing policy, which states that any damages to the building that are found in common areas are billed to all residents unless that person is found. Similarly, the Bohn Hall pipe burst brings up the issue of this policy and how students do not think it’s fair to be charged for something they didn’t cause.
“I wasn’t even here when it happened, I found out from other people,” said Nick Parenti, a freshman accounting major. “So the fact that I’m paying for it…I think that’s wrong.”
Santiago said the situation is especially unfair for the students who live on the 13th floor, who have to pay to replace their water damaged personal belongings.
“They already have to worry about the damages done to their own property let alone the damages done to everyone else’s,” Santiago said. “So yeah I don’t think that’s fair.”
Yamout said she will be “extremely angry” about having to pay for the pipe burst even though she didn’t cause it.
“Especially since they have not only put me as a student, and everyone else in this building, at fault for something that they did,” Yamout said. “I’m paying enough money in tuition for circumstances exactly like this, and it’s unfair that they’re punishing an entire building for one floor’s accident.”
The Office of Residence Life has not disclosed any information regarding how much the cost of the Bohn Hall damage will be as they are still gathering the costs for labor and supplies.