Senator reports ceiling cave-in, the Justice finds no evidence to support claims
Senate Facilities and Housing Committee Chair Trevor Filseth ’20 reported at the Feb. 9 Senate meeting that a ceiling had collapsed in East Quad, based on information he received from Class of 2022 Senator Joshua Feld. However, no such event ever occurred.
The alleged incident came up during Filseth’s committee chair report when he listed the cave-in among a number of issues about which he would speak with Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Tim Touchette. He specified that “there was an issue on, I think it was the fourth floor of East, the ceiling had caved in right there.”
At the time Filseth reported the cave-in, he had never seen the damage and “only [knew] what Josh told me, and he said Facilities was on it,” he wrote in a message to the Justice on Feb. 10. Feld confirmed in a message to the Justice on Wednesday that he believed “Brandeis facilities was on top of this issue right away,” but Facilities Services denied this claim.
“To our knowledge there was no reported ceiling cave in at East,” wrote Associate Director of Campus Services Joseph Realejo in an email to the Justice on Thursday.
After several inquiries from the Justice, Feld said on Wednesday that “multiple people” had reached out to him about a “ceiling issue,” but declined to specify the people involved or comment further for the story.
When Filseth later spoke with Touchette about the issue, Touchette reportedly said that “there wasn’t a cave-in, it seems to have just been a rumor like the Deroy mold thing last semester,” Filseth wrote in a message to the Justice on Wednesday. In a separate statement emailed to the Justice the next day, Touchette wrote, “I’m not sure where this story came from. It is not true at all. There is no ceiling collapse.”
Eight residents of East Quad, including Head Community Advisor for East Quad and Skyline Domingo Fortuna ’20, told the Justice on Wednesday that they had not heard about a ceiling collapse, suggesting that the “rumor” had not spread beyond conversations between senators and the administration.
Though they had not heard about the alleged cave-in, almost all of the residents and administrators interviewed by the Justice mentioned another ceiling problem in East Quad.
“There was a fire alarm that went off [on Feb. 21] due to a leak in a steam pipe. The leak affected two students who we are in the process of assisting with a room move, as well as repair and replacement of damaged items. The ceiling in that room, as well as the rest of the building, was not affected,” wrote Area Coordinator for East and Skyline Katherine Mandel in an email to the Justice on Wednesday.
—Noah Zeitlin contributed reporting
—Editor’s Note: Trevor Filseth is a Forum staff writer.