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Justin Quaintance

Shit happens in Murray Fraser Hall bathrooms

By Scott Strasser, October 4 2016 —

There’s something smelly going on in the University of Calgary Faculty of Law — in the bathrooms, that is.

Students’ Union law representative Mark Shearer brought up plumbing issues in some of Murray Fraser Hall’s bathrooms at Students’ Legislative Council on Sept. 20 after receiving a complaint from a student.

The student told Shearer the women’s bathrooms on the third and fourth floors of the building have faced plumbing issues for “quite some time,” but have not yet been fixed by the university.

Third-year law student Andrea MacLean said she avoids those particular bathrooms due to the smell.

“From my knowledge this has been going on for several years and hasn’t been fixed,” MacLean said. “I understand the problem is with the middle toilet. I don’t know exactly what the problem is but it causes waste to back up into it. That means it’s a consistently smelly bathroom.”

U of C associate vice-president facilities development Boris Dragecevicz said the problem is with the bathroom’s original pipes, which also connect with the adjacent men’s bathrooms.

“Maintenance teams will have to access the pipes and replace them. Repair work will involve the closure of the men’s and women’s washrooms on the third and fourth floors of the northwest quadrant of Murray Fraser Hall,” Dragecevicz said.

According to Dragecevicz, the U of C facilities department was made aware of the problem last February. Facilities attempted to address the issue on a number of occasions without shutting down the washroom for an extended period of time.

“Facilities believed they had resolved the issue, but the problem persists and more significant repair work is required,” he said. “We’re in the process of getting an estimate for the repairs and will then schedule the work.” 

Even the dean of the Faculty of Law, Ian Holloway, is aware of the issues.

“The short version is the bathroom stinks,” he said. “The university has a pecking order of issues with which to deal with, and many involve personal safety. I’m guessing they’re prioritizing other things. I’ve never concluded that they’ve blown us off.”

Dragecevicz said facilities can’t provide a timeframe of when the work will be completed, but will inform occupants of Murray Fraser Hall once the work is scheduled.

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