Drip in front of Kagin Commons

John Fillion, Staff Writer

The sound of the near-constant drip that occurs at the southwest corner of Kagin Commons, like the trapped physical manifestation of an ancient, vengeful god. It presents an annoyance for anyone trying to use Kagin’s revolving door or for the hundreds of students who use that path to get to  Dupre Hall. More seriously it presents an actual physical danger. For example, Carla Mavares ’21 slipped on the patch during her first year.

The Mac Weekly: Could you briefly describe the incident for me?

Carla Mavares: During J-Term my freshman year, I had left mock trial practice, and I was going to go to the library. I slipped, fell backwards and hit my head against the pavement.

TMW: Did a doctor confirm that you had suffered a concussion?

CM: Yes. I went to the ER because I was wildly nauseous after.

TMW: Did you feel impaired at all following the injury?

CM: Yes. I definitely was really dizzy and nauseous for at least three days. They gave me pills and then told me to get better.

TMW: Do you remember the cost of your medical bills and whether or not you were insured?

CM: It was about $900 to go to the ER and just get looked at. They didn’t run any tests or anything. They literally just looked at me and asked me to follow a finger with my eyes. I remember this so vividly because it took nine months to get my insurance to pay for that visit. I ended up having to go to the ER again because they hadn’t run any tests, and I had a nosebleed which is a serious concussion-related symptom. That visit was around $3,000 but my insurance managed to pay for it more quickly… sort of.

I am also concerned about the environmental impact of the salt used  so close to the pollinator path garden. The general consensus among most scientists is that magnesium chloride salt is one of the relatively more environmentally friendly salts to use for de-icing over calcium, potassium or sodium chloride. One of the salts currently used by Facilities Services contains all four. All have been shown to cause respiratory and dermal skin irritation. Calcium chloride and sodium chloride are non-selective that harm all plants indiscriminately.

I recommend simply rounding the sharp metal corners above the revolving door to prevent water from being directed towards it. The question, then, is why the college has not sought a solution for this problem that affects such a large proportion of people, plants and animals. Surely the cost of a repair would be less than the potential lawsuit which is likely a matter of when, not if.