Feb 082011
Authors: Jordyn Dahl

CSU officials say the university is not liable for any damage caused to non-university-owned property damaged in last week’s pipe bursts.

Director of Facilities Management Brian Chase said CSU only covers property damaged in cases of negligence, a term he defined as the failure to prevent or fix something the university knew would break.

Chase said the university did everything in its power to prevent the pipe bursts brought on by the extreme cold weather last week by keeping the heat on “24/7” at full capacity. He ultimately said the breaks were “acts of God.”

“We had crews working all evening that were going around checking mechanical rooms for pipes and found several places where they got fixed,” Chase said.

Busted pipes caused leaks in the Education Building, Industrial Sciences Building and several rooms in the Academic Village.

Facilities management personnel were able to get the academic buildings evacuated, and classes resumed after the damaged carpet was aired out.
Students living in the rooms damaged in Academic Village were relocated until the pipe and the damage to the rooms was fixed. However, none of their belongings are covered by university insurance unless the students had renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.

Sally Alexandria said this is a common university policy and one student’s agree to when they attend CSU by signing the student handbook.

Alexandria, director of Offices of Risk Management and Insurance, said the university recommends insurance on student and staff belongings but cannot enforce it. She said she is looking into a way to make insurance more available to students on campus.

“You really need to have this kind of coverage, but it’s up to you to decide if you want it or not,” Alexandria said.

The Office of Risk Management and Insurance has received few calls from people trying to claim insurance for damaged property. It encourages students to call if they have questions. The office can be reached at 970-491-1432.

Assistant News Editor Jordyn Dahl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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