The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Flooding in Warren College damages all floors, displaces students

Affected students have been relocated to The Broadview while Warren College undergoes repairs.
Nora Fellas
Flooding in Warren College, as photographed on Oct. 24, 2023 (Hustler Staff/Nora Fellas)

A pipe in the fifth-floor gender-neutral bathroom of Warren College burst in the early morning of Oct. 24, spilling water into rooms on that floor and all floors below. Affected students have been relocated to The Broadview at Vanderbilt until repairs are complete, which will be a minimum of two weeks.

No university alert was sent out to Warren residents regarding the flood until 11:09 a.m. CDT, leaving many residents to seek information from their respective floor group chats. One resident on the fifth floor, senior Annie Blount, said she was stunned when she saw the damage after waking up. 

“It was definitely a jumpscare waking up to a few inches of water in our suite. Out of the two floors and five rooms, both living rooms were covered in several inches of water,” Blount said. “We also had lumps with water dripping down from the walls and the ceiling.”

Flooding of Warren College on floor five as photographed on Oct. 24, 2023 (Photo Courtesy of Meghan Halvey)

From around 6:30-10 a.m. CDT, the residents of affected floors in Warren were asked to evacuate the building with the things they would need for at least the next four hours while maintenance staff assessed the damage and decided if relocation would be necessary. Senior Meghan Halvey explained that in the midst of being told to evacuate to avoid electrical shock risks, she was not given much information on where to go or what would follow. 

“When they woke me up and told me I had to evacuate for four hours, I was a little lost on where to go at 6:30 in the morning,” Halvey said. “I had no idea what was happening, and it seems the RAs didn’t know either.”

Photo depicting sandbags barricading doors to dorm rooms in Warren as pictured on October 24, 2023 (Hustler Staff/Nora Fellas)

When evacuating the dorms, residents on the upper floors were given large plastic bags in which to put their damaged items, while other residents from lower floors who had procured water damage were asked for their names and room numbers to further assess the extent of the damage. Vanderbilt Housing and Residential Experience (formerly known as OHARE) made a temporary space in Kissam Student Center to support displaced students. 

Jonathan Liu, a senior, lives on the first floor of Warren and woke up to find damage from ceiling tiles falling, as well as water damage. Liu is the former Deputy News Editor of The Hustler.

After inspecting the dorms, HRE sent an email to the undergraduate academic deans requesting consideration be given to students who have been impacted by the flood. Some professors opted to cancel class in light of the flooding to allow affected students time to relocate.  

Ceiling damage and water leakage on the first floor of Warren College due to flooding as photographed on Oct. 24, 2023. (Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Liu)

Additionally, some students found a leak from the ceiling that was seemingly not water, but rather a brown, solid material. A maintenance staff member told The Hustler that this leak is separate from the original water leak, with speculation that it could be sewage. 

An image depicting material falling from the ceiling in Warren College as photographed on Oct. 25, 2023 (Hustler Staff/Parker Smith)

HRE instructed Warren residents via an 11:09 a.m. CDT email to vacate their rooms until further notice, though many said they had already evacuated by that point. It also gave details regarding the possibility of relocation for some of the residents, as well as how to handle replacing damaged items. Residents were advised to contact their personal insurance company for any personal damages and were told any wet items would be put into plastic bags to be laundered or dried. 

“If your room experienced water infiltration, HRE will require you to be relocated. The duration of this temporary relocation is contingent on the extent of water damage in your specific room,” the email from HRE reads. 

In a second email sent at 4:15 p.m. CDT to Warren College residents who were being relocated, HRE stated that students will be housed for a minimum of two weeks at The Broadview at Vanderbilt and had until 10 p.m. CDT  that day to remove items and document damage. When asked, HRE says they do not have a final count of how many students have been displaced and are still assessing damages. 

In their email, HRE advised residents to first take pictures of any damaged items and then pack everything needed for two weeks or more including bedding, toiletries, clothing and important documents. Furthermore, residents were instructed to bring any affected items that need to be laundered. Any items that were previously bagged by the extraction team will be professionally laundered instead, and damaged items left behind after 10 p.m. CDT will be disposed.

Flooding of Warren College on floor five as photographed on Oct. 24, 2023 (courtesy of Meghan Halvey)

Some residents expressed concern about the financial and mental toll that this move will take on them. Diana Zamarripa, a junior, said she believes an unfair burden has been placed on affected students in having to purchase living supplies for their temporary residence at The Broadview.  

“Why should I pay for these mistakes?” Zamarripa said. “[HRE] tell us to move by 10 p.m., but they don’t provide the sheets for a queen bed, and we don’t have trash bins.” 

Students were told they would receive sheets by the following day, Oct. 26.

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About the Contributors
Kate Connell
Kate Connell, Opinion Editor
Kate Connell (‘26) is from Seneca, Mo., and studies psychology in the College of Arts and Science on the pre-medical track. She previously served as Managing Editor and Opinion Copy Editor and Podcasts Director. When not working at The Hustler, you can find her getting coffee, relaxing at Centennial Park or stressing in the Stevenson building. She can be reached at [email protected]
Nora Fellas
Nora Fellas, Former Deputy Opinion Editor
Nora Fellas (‘24) is from New York and is in the College of Arts and Science studying English literature and Chinese. In her free time, she loves to read, listen to music and play with her dog, Maisie! You can reach her at [email protected].
Jonathan Liu
Jonathan Liu, Former Deputy News Editor
Jonathan Liu (‘24) is from Fremont, California. He is pursuing a major in Neuroscience and Music with a minor in Medicine, Health and Society. You can reach him at [email protected].
Parker Smith
Parker Smith, Former Deputy News Editor
Parker Smith ('24) is majoring in computer science and political science in the School of Engineering. He enjoys playing guitar in his spare time and is a former Starbucks barista and self-proclaimed coffee expert. He can be reached at [email protected].
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