Football game causes flood in Barker Hall


Submitted to The Simpsonian

A football smashed into a sprinkler head in Barker Hall causing major flooding on the first floor.

by Paul Hyatt, Feature Editor

A game of catch went wrong on the first floor of Barker Residence Hall Sunday night, as a stray football struck the sprinkler system, causing a flood.   

The water began to fall around 7:05 p.m. as Garrett Livingston, Barker Team Lead, began his rounds. He immediately took action.   

“Right away, I called maintenance, no answer, so I called the pro-staff. Afterward, I notified security, and Russ was able to shut the alarm off, but I had to wait for maintenance to turn off the water,” Livingston said.   

Several other CAs from around campus arrived to aid Livingston with the situation. 

According to Livingston, the water was shut off around 7:40 p.m. By that time, a large pool of water had covered the hall from the stairway to the lounge. Seven rooms, including Livingston’s room, were affected by the flood.   

Livingston said it was about 8:20 p.m. when custodial staff arrived with Shop-Vacs to suck up the water from the hallway and affected rooms.   

“During this time, I gathered the residents living in the hall and explained that there were seven rooms that got damaged, and four of the rooms had severe damage,” Livingston said. “Those living in the severely damaged rooms could be relocated if they wished to.”   

By 8:45 p.m., all residents were back to their regular routines. According to Livingston, about ten residents were affected in total. The names of these students were kept confidential. All property damage to students was noted and sent to Ethan Brown, the Hall Director.   

“It was a major interference with students’ routines for the night, although it was nice to have Monday off from class to figure out what the next steps are,” Livingston said. “As far as I know, one room was relocated completely, and the others have stayed in the spaces.”  

Matt Hansen, Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life, praised the quick and efficient response to those involved, especially Livingston.   

“Garrett Livingston did an excellent job on his response and coordinating with his residents. He deserves a great deal of credit; he had to call security and residence life,” Hansen said.   

Simpson is still in the process of calculating the amount of property damage done to both school and student property.   

“We are focusing first and foremost on making sure people are held accountable, and everyone gets that restitution. Figuring out, how do we get people back to where they were,” Hansen said.   

Hansen acknowledged that this was an accident, and those responsible took accountability for their actions. Regardless, he said the incident serves to remind that seemingly innocent actions can have disastrous consequences.   

“As Ethan Brown said, 99 times out of 100 when you throw the football, everything will be fine. But 100 times out of 100, if you throw the football outside, everything will be fine,” Hansen said.