Freezing temperatures causes Dow lab mess

By Rose Cyburt

Staff Writer

Back in December, temperatures dropped to the negatives. On Dec. 14, during the faculty Christmas party, a pipe in Dow froze and burst, flooding two chemical research labs.  

“This is the second time in three years that the same sprinkler burst,” said Melissa Strait, professor of chemistry. When she walked into her lab from the party, she said she immediately knew where the water was coming from.  

The first time the flooding occurred, Jackson Conner (’18) had gone to Dow early in the morning to prepare for a lab. The pipe had burst during the night, so the damage was more significant.  

“I was surprised and couldn’t believe that it had happened a second time to the same lab,” said Conner. The day it happened again during the party, he had to stop by the lab and pick up an instrument. “My initial reaction was mostly just disbelief.”  

Facilities discovered that there was missing insulation around one of the sprinkler heads in Professor of Chemistry Scott Hill’s research lab. The water seeped into the floor and eventually through to the ceiling tiles below.  

The ceiling tiles collapsed into (Melissa) Strait’s research lab. “Professor Mazzuca and I had to pull all the computers and instruments away from the walls where the water was dripping down,” said Strait.  

Fortunately, no computers or chemistry instruments were damaged, but the lab was drenched.  

“Dr. Hill’s office and lab was not as bad as mine below,” said Strait. “The pipes upstairs were already cleaned out from the first time it flooded, but the water that came down brought all the dirt and mold from the floor and ceiling with it.”  

Strait called the physical plant and facilities which came and immediately turned the water off. After only about an hour, maintenance had already started cleaning up the water and brought fans.  

“The only place they could not clean was behind the carrels in the lab since I had stacked all the research materials on them,” said Strait.  

Over the winter break, flooding had also occurred in one of the themed houses.  

Students in small housing are to turn the thermostats down to 60 degrees during break periods.  

“One of the houses had completely turned off the furnace causing the pipes to freeze and inevitably burst,” said Karl Rishe, vice president of student affairs.  

The Theta Chi house also experienced issues as well when the members moved back in from break. Even though the furnace remained on, the sewage pipe had still frozen and burst.  

“We had our sump pump unplugged so it took a while to clean,” said August Tierney (’18). “The campus was pretty quick in responding, it only took about an hour, but it isn’t fully clean yet.”  

The house manager had to file another work order to finish the cleanup. Most items in the basement could not be saved.  

“When the house manager called the first time, he contacted the administrator on duty who happened to be Matt Jones at the time,” said Tierney. “I’m assuming that is why the school responded so fast.”  

Strait is still working to finish reorganizing everything in the lab and Theta Chi members are making sure to air out their basement until facilities can finish the cleanup.  

New year encourages self-reflection

By Cassie Florian

Staff Writer

With one year concluded and another beginning, Alma College students share their new year resolutions, how they’ve been sticking to them and if they are worth even making in the first place.   

When asked if he had made any new year resolutions, Seth Davis (’17) said, “Yes, [to read] 20 pages of a book that is not related to school eveScreen Shot 2018-01-15 at 2.55.54 PMry day and to read at least two articles every day about what happens in the world.”  

Davis continues by saying that this resolution will help him to keep up to date on political news and give him something more constructive and fun to do with his time.  

In regards to her new year resolutions, Marina Evstifeeva [Russia] said, “I want to live successfully for the next four months in America, be successful at the Model UN conference and catch the happy moments in life,” which she says she tends to “notice when they already pass.”  

When asked why she chose these goals, Evstifeeva said, “Being in America is one of the greatest events in my life and also to have a wonderful first half of the year.”   

When asked how she was doing on her resolutions, Evstifeeva said, “I’m trying; happiness comes from hanging out with friends and getting out and experiencing college life. I’ve also been working really hard for Model UN.”   

“I did make some new year resolutions,” said Naomi Oravitz (’21).  “My two main resolutions are to keep my room clean and to not worry as much.”  

Oravitz chose these because, she is “a super messy person and [her] room has also been an issue for [her],  

“Now I have a roommate who is very neat,” said Oravitz. “I decided that I shouldn’t worry as much because I’m constantly overthinking everything and in a lot of ways that ruins things. I worry about the things that I can and can’t control, so at the end of the day I’m left stressed and drained.”  

“So far I’ve stuck to my resolutions,” said Oravitz, “but I know something’s got to give. I’ll probably end up breaking one of them soon enough.”  

When asked why she makes resolutions, Oravitz added, “I feel like they’re a chance for me to better myself and start over. Everyone makes goals, so I guess I kind of figure it makes sense to make them at the start of the year rather the middle.”  

Davis stated that he tries not to make resolutions. 

“I try not to, so I don’t break them [but] this is a very different resolution; I have plenty of books and want to immerse myself in that.”  

“No, I did not make any new year’s resolutions because I believe that the new year’s ‘clean slate’ does not mean a new me,” said Brooklyn Dearing (’20).   

“I am the same person I was in 2017, I have my flaws that I want to improve, but it isn’t something that will happen overnight.”   

When asked if she thinks of new year’s resolutions as being beneficial or just something that people will eventually break, Dearing stated, “I believe that people can keep their new year’s resolutions but I find it very rarely. You begin change when you are ready for it and truly want to.”   

“I have made the typical resolutions in the past of working out more and eating healthier, but ultimately those failed because they weren’t something that I truly saw as a problem in my life that I wanted to fix,” said Dearing in regards to past new year’s resolutions.   

“If you want to change something about your life, do it. Don’t do it because ‘new year, new me.’ Do it because you want to fully commit to that change and improve your life.”

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