Column: Closure woes include missed meals, dorm leaks

Column: Closure woes include missed meals, dorm leaks

During the week of Feb. 16, classes and administrative offices were closed for the entire week because of the snowstorm that blanketed the campus with over six inches of snow. During the closing, classes were canceled but certain campus facilities remained open such as the dining hall.

Students were given different times to go and retrieve meals at the dining hall, but what about students who couldn’t make it to the dining hall, who fell and were injured? Ryan Martin, Director of Housing, said this information would come from Sodexo, but that he doubts Sodexo would reimburse students for meals they missed. He also stated there are no protocols in places to help students get food in disasters of this sort, and that it’s students personal responsibility.

Martin stated,”The University opened the Dining Hall during the recent snow and ice event on campus to service our students. It appeared that most students were able to get to the University Center to eat if they wanted to while I was there.”

Freshman English major, Brittany Reynolds tells a different story stating. “It was a disaster getting to the dining hall almost every day.”

Another issue that arises from the storm was the issue of dorm leaks. On the issue, Ryan Martin stated,”Many properties on and off campus experienced some leaks due to the larger than normal ice accumulations on the roofs followed by several inches of rain. We encourage all residents to get renters insurance or see if they are covered under their families existing policies. The University cannot directly reimburse for claimed property damage but there is a process in place to request reimbursement from Knoxville. In the event of leaks, our staff will assist our residents with clean up of water. Physical Plant will then work towards repairing the leaks.”

The leaks have since been repaired and taken care of, but how many students were notified of the protocol to reimburse them for damaged belongings, or that students are expected to be covered under their parents insurance or purchase renters insurance?

I for one didn’t know I was expected to be covered under my parent’s insurance. I believe students should be notified of these types of issues, and most likely through an email and not paper that will eventually be thrown away.

Students who need more information on the reimbursement process should contact Ryan Martin at (731)332-9117 or by email at

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  1. Excuse the typos in the first sentence!

  2. All students before check in are mailed information concerning renter’s insurance to their parents address concerning renters insurance. On top of that, we also send the link multiple times for people to review the housing handbook in which we state on page 14:


    The University is not responsible for loss of/or damage to personal property due to fire, water, theft, or mysterious disappearance. All students are urged to identify their property with the permanent inscription of their ID number. Services for marking valuables are available through Public Safety. The University suggests that students protect their belongings through an insurance company policy. We suggest that you check your parents’ homeowners’ policy for possible coverage.

    This seems like it is more of a case of you not reading or retaining the information provided. Our policies are not hidden, in fact they are very clear. If you need more information please let me know.


    Ryan Martin
    Assistant Director of Housing


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