Damage should be covered

Students who live in the South Lodges have been told they are responsible for something that was not their fault.

Pipes broke because of the freezing weather and flooded both Buckhorn and Sunset Lodges earlier this semester, but the Pitt-Johnstown officials are making the residents pay for their losses.

Extreme weather causes accidents like this to happen; it is not the school officials’ fault.

However, it is their fault that they didn’t take any precautions when they knew something like this could happen.

Not only did the officials fail to predict an accident like this, they poorly dealt with the aftermath.

Moreover, students in campus housing were told that, if they want personal property insured, they have to buy their own insurance.

University’s administration probably could get a much lower rate if they purchase group insurance for all residents.

Residents are already charged a relatively high rate to live on campus, so insurance should be included.

Putting some words in the Housing Policies and Procedures saying that the university’s officials do not assume responsibility does not let them off the hook.

We think the university officials should purchase insurance for residents’ personal properties, perhaps with limitations, even if they need to charge the residents a bit more.

What is particularly troubling about the flooding is that it took place in buildings—Buckhorn and Sunset Lodges—that were extensively renovated last summer.

Were pipes left exposed to the frigid temperatures despite the renovations or because of them?

Certainly, the students paying the bill for their damaged property had no hand in a design that was obviously flawed because it couldn’t stand up to temperatures that could reasonably be expected in a Johnstown winter.

Nonetheless, mistakes are made.

We should strive to make those mistakes less costly to those not responsible for them.