By: Tejay Cleland, Editor-In-Chief
Newman University made the decision to cancel classes on Oct. 8 amid the Wichita city-wide water boil advisory. A major water main break occurred, making all Wichita tap water unsafe to drink. Residents had to boil water for a minute to decontaminate it before drinking as well as dispose of ice cubes made from an automatic ice maker.
Jill Fort, interim vice president of Academic Affairs, said that the decision to cancel classes was made out of caution.
“We always have the best interest of the students, staff and faculty in mind when making any kind of decision to cancel classes,” Fort said. “Not having access and availability to clean drinking water for longer than just a few hours was our primary concern and weighed heavily into the decision.”
Director of Security Morris Floyd said that the decision to cancel was a logical one, especially considering there were still athletic competitions that weekend.
“To me, it made sense to cancel classes because they didn’t want to risk someone not knowing about the boil advisory and drinking out of a fountain,” he said. “We had events that did not get canceled. We had a volleyball game and a soccer game, so whatever resources we had went to those events where we had outside people.”
Freshman Andrew Hudson lives on campus in Carrocci Hall. He said that when the news broke in the dorms, they couldn’t believe it.
“Thursday night, Carrocci went wild when we got the text that there was no class,” Hudson said. “No one really told me much other than to stay away from the water.”
Mabee Dining Center shifted on Friday from its typical weekday hours to its weekend schedule, serving only two meals instead of three. Great Western Dining provided typical brunch meals during the boil advisory. There was a sign at the entrance of the dining center alerting students to not drink the water from the fountains, Hudson said.
Hudson and another student went to Casey’s and got some cases of water as a precaution, he said.
The City of Wichita announced on Saturday that the water boil advisory was lifted and water was safe to drink again after running faucets for 10-15 minutes.
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Unsplash