By Brianna Williams, News Editor—
On Friday, Sept. 13, UTC’s campus closed as a result of a Tennessee American water main break that occurred the night before.
The campus-wide closure lasted until Sunday morning, with some areas of campus opening earlier due to water systems coming back periodically.
Students learned through a text alert and email sent at at 5:30 a.m on Friday that campus would be shut down and classes would be cancelled.
The main break happened near Tennessee American’s plant located northeast of the Erlanger downtown hospital.
To support students during the water outage, the West and South Campus PODS offered free bottled water and food services.
“I did take my three free bottles of water that they gave me,” freshman Boling resident Madelyn McCrary said. “They even offered more and took very good care of us at the POD market.”
Residence halls on campus also had portable bathrooms and hand sanitizing stations delivered for students to use the restroom while the water was out.
While McCrary appreciated the aid from campus PODs and the portable bathrooms that were set up, she still admitted that the water outage caused problems.
“No one could shower, and I think that’s the worst part,” McCrary said. “And the fact that we were all getting dehydrated and couldn’t properly go to the bathroom.”
Junior Julie McGlaughlin, who works as a desk assistant at West Campus Housing, worked Friday night while the water was out and said that she handed out bottled water to residents.
During the day on Friday, West Campus resident and desk assistants handed out pizza and drinks and gave residents brunch on Saturday, she said.
Events originally scheduled for Friday, such as The Chancellor’s State of the University address, are to be postponed to a later date.
UTC has continually passed along information about the water situation to students through UTC text and email alerts and emails from Gina Stafford, assistant vice chancellor of communications and marketing.
“I think they were a lot more informative and quick to give updates on the water outage than the potential shooter,” McGlaughlin said, referencing an issue that occurred on campus two weeks ago in which a police officer getting off his shift was mistaken for a gunman. “They were also informing us on what the school was actively doing to help, and what the students should and shouldn’t do.”
As of 4:50 p.m. on Sunday, the boil advisory for on-campus water was lifted and confirmed safe for consumption and usage.