Before I wrote a 3,100 word article on water damage, I didn’t spend much time looking up at the ceiling. Now after writing that essay, no matter what room I’m in, I always pause and take a minute to look above. Everywhere I look I see red flags; I see a story behind the problem.
In the corner of second floor Donnarumma by the window, near the office for the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, there’s a portion of the ceiling tile missing with that telltale brown circular outline. In the lower level of the John A. Barone Campus Center, on the ramp to the bathrooms, the paint of the ceiling is peeling off, and whenever it rains water drips onto the carpet below. In the Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons, near the main food serving station where there was once a water damaged ceiling tile, there is now a ceiling grate with a trashcan perennially afixed underneath. In the classroom in the ground floor of Bannow, where I have general physics three times a week, there are spots of black mold growing above the trash cans.
What haunts me most however is the ceiling of Bannow 334. By the door when you first walk in there’s a strip of water damaged tiles, near the front of the room in the corner another tile and most alarmingly the tile above the projector looks like its one day from falling down. Every day since publishing my article I have asked the question what is going on with Bannow 334?
I know the answer will take a great amount of conscious effort towards moving the unmovable. It means sending emails to people who don’t want to talk to you. It means interviewing as many people as it takes to get the whole story. It’s doing the hard work of journalism – but it’s all in pursuit of a worthwhile fight.
I don’t want to write long articles in the paper; all I want is to have structural issues addressed and the damage repaired – my investigative work is a means to an end. My goal is for students to learn in classrooms with ceiling tiles not stained with water damage growing mold, is that too much to ask?
I have seen the problems of this school, the injustice, the complacency and I cannot look away.
But I am just one person with one set of eyes. I want to hear from you the reader, what roof are you trying to fix? Where have you seen injustice on this campus? What problems are allowed to endure because it seems they are just too difficult to fix? What makes you shake your head and wonder, “Why is this still happening?”
I want to know! Email me please, firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t promise I’ll have the solution but I can promise that I will be there with you.
You and me together, asking questions, knocking on doors, sending email after email… let’s pour a bucket of water on your leaky roof and see where it drips.