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Most stranded Ohio State students find refuge off campus, home

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Only about 200 of the 2,000 Ohio State students evacuated from their residence halls Sunday decided to stay the night in the RPAC. So where did the other 1,800 students find refuge?
“I stayed at my friend’s, friend’s older brother’s apartment off campus,” said Kaylee Hoffner, a first-year in biomedical engineering and a Park-Stradley resident.
While that might seem extreme, these types of connections were called in to help stranded residents Sunday night.
Julianne Newsome, a first-year Park-Stradley resident in public health, stayed at her friend’s brother’s house on the couch.
Second-year in biology and Park-Stradley resident Clay Beckholt said he decided to just go home.
“I called my mom to come pick me up and I went home,” Beckholt said. “I live about half an hour to 45 minutes away in Newark.”
None of these students wanted to spend the night in the RPAC, and while Beckholt said he will continue to stay at home, Newsome and Hoffner found new places to stay until they can return to their dorms.
Hoffner said she will be staying in another dorm with a girl she met Sunday.
Newsome responded to an email from Javaune Adams-Gaston, the vice president for Student Life, which asked those who needed “assistance with overnight accommodations” to email OSU Housing.
She was given a spot in a four-person room in Neilwood Gables on North Campus, where she said she plans to stay until she can move back into Park-Stradley Hall.
“It’s just really inconvenient,” Newsome said. “I have midterms on Tuesday and Friday, a test on Thursday and it’s stressful finding time to figure out where you’re staying as well as your school work.”
Hoffner echoed that sentiment as she said she has a calculus and psychology midterm this week.
“Last night we didn’t have our stuff with us, so we couldn’t get anything done, and the hours that I would come here (Park-Stradley) and study during the day, we were at the (Ohio) Union just hanging out,” said Hoffner. “It is just disruptive.”
Beckholt and Newsome said they did feel the university was trying to be accommodating, and Beckholt said the university is giving him a temporary parking pass to use since he is commuting from home.
Hoffner also said students have shown patience and understanding.
“I think it’s been more the students being really accommodating and understanding … it’s hard for the university to be able to do anything in this situation because there’s 1,200 of us,” Hoffner said.
The students were given from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to retrieve some belongings, and in Adams-Gaston’s email to the residents she recommended the students pack enough clothing and other items for at least two days.
The Ohio Union and Baker Hall East and West were also closed Sunday night, but they reopened Monday at about 7 a.m., although the hot water in Baker Hall didn’t come back on until after 8 a.m.
According to OSU spokesman Jim Lynch, OSU Police do “not have a criminal investigation report on this water line failure.”
Park-Stradley was closed last year as part of a $171 million South Campus renovation project. The building had only been open for about a month before the water main break.
All three of the Park-Stradley residents said they would manage for the next couple of days, but Beckholt and Hoffner said the longer it takes, the more their patience will run thin.
“It is fine for a couple of days, but if it’s longer, it disrupts studying and it disrupts our routines,” Hoffner said.
About 2,000 students were evacuated Sunday night and 1,200 Park-Stradley residents still have no timetable of when they might be able to return.
“Eventually it’s not going to be fine,” Hoffner said.

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