Editorial: Unintended Consequences Can Be Bigger Than You Think

The morning of last Sunday, March 16, briefly transformed Vaughn Center into an emergency site when the sprinkler system in one eighth floor room activated and began to spray hundreds of gallons of water per minute.

The university sprinkler system is meant to control fire with a powerful, continuous discharge that would be ruinous to any belongings left soaked or drowned in an affected room, and in theory, the system proved its worth.

However, the culprit in this case was not an actual fire, but a clothes hanger a student had carelessly suspended from a ceiling-mounted sprinkler head, apparently ignorant to the object’s true purpose and function.

The sprinkler, which is capable of being triggered by changes in temperature or damage to the mechanism by outside force, functioned just as one would expect

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