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A shitty situation: thoughts from a student affected by the recent Ziv sewage flood

As most of you have probably seen, or at the very least smelled, Ziv 129’s first floor just flooded with sewage. I had the horrific misfortune of being a resident of one of the affected suites, and I’m less than thrilled with how Brandeis has handled this situation.

To date, we have received no assurance that an outside health inspector will come and take a look at these dorms to ensure that they are fit for human inhabitants. I’ve heard that a Brandeis environmental health and safety professional may be the only health inspector to see these dorms, which is a massive shortcoming on the university’s part. Personally, I have little to no faith in the veracity of a report from a university-employed health inspector on the university’s clean-up progress.

When The Hoot asked for comment on how his department would ensure the cleanliness of these spaces before students are allowed to reenter, DCL’s (Department of Community Living, Brandeis’ housing authority) Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Timothy Touchette did not provide an answer. When I personally emailed an Area Coordinator with the same concern, I received no response. The lack of communication on this issue is incredibly frustrating for me, and the 11 other affected students.

In another negative, DCL has provided very limited time for students to go into the affected (and currently mid-restoration) dorms to obtain their belongings. On Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m., with only a few hours’ notice, students were able to enter their dorms to either take their items or leave them behind to be professionally cleaned / thrown out (indicated via stick-on labels on massive black trash bags). These dorms were extremely hot, and we were only allotted one hour to organize all of our belongings. DCL could have and should have given us longer to get our items.

DCL has given students temporary housing assignments in the Village and Ridgewood dorms. And, in a genuinely good move, they have given students the option to remain in these temporary assignments for the remainder of the semester without any increases in housing costs. DCL has also provided some limited reimbursement pathways for students, and it looks as though they may very well provide students with what they need.

Ziv is now, definitively, the shittiest dorm on campus.

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