You’ve destroyed UT. Now what?


For only losing your Spartan ID, UT charges you $20. Even losing the keys from your dorm is $100 to change the lock and $15 for each new key. Major damages, like harming the walls or floors are even more concerning, much less flooding a whole hall. Well, that happened to Straz Hall just weeks ago.

A student hung an item from the sprinkler head, broke the sprinkler head and triggered the alarm, according to Sabrina Griffith.

Brandon Martin, a junior entrepreneurship major said that he was one of the few residents from the first and second floor of Straz Hall that was lucky.

“I did not have much damage but my roommate’s whole mattress was soaked,” Martin said. “I know the people that live right next to us, they can’t even live in their room right now because of all the damage they had, they have to repair all the walls, it is a mess.”

Straz has had bad experiences with sprinkles, a similar case happened in April of 2014. It was caused by a student breaking a sprinkler by hanging a clothes hanger from it, according to The Minaret Article, “Late Night Flooding in Straz.”

Griffith said that all students involved in any incidence of tampering with fire safety equipment are referred to the Office of Student Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct will follow their procedures in addressing the concern. If the student is found responsible for any violation, there are consequences assigned by their office.

Jennifer Isenbeck, director of facilities, said that based on some information that she has regarding a previous sprinkler issue in Austin that flooded a few floors, the damages were in excess of $50,000.

“How the figure is paid is resolved between the university’s insurance carrier and the identified party at fault,” Isenbeck said.

These are some of the damages fees for damages occurring in residence halls, they charged to the responsible individual or group.

The cost of replacing damaged or missing furniture is the cost of the replacement plus an additional $100. Replacing doors or blinds is $100 or more. If you mess up the ceiling, just one tile is $50 or more. If you have to replace signs or artwork around your dorm, that’s anywhere from $100-$1000. Outside of dorms, if for whatever reason you want to destroy a trash can or some plants that’s at least $500.

From all of this it follows that the student who caused the flood will have to pay for all of the damages. Not only for one apartment, but for around 50 apartments among the third, second and first floor of Straz. That that does not include the pipelines and sprinkler system.

There was also an elevator damaged that night. And, according to Isenbeck if it involves cleaning there is usually a charge between $100-300. The night of the Straz flood there was a lot of water to clean.

“If it is permanent damage, then we charge the actual repair cost,” Isenbeck said. “If an issue requires an elevator technician to come out on call then the charges can be much higher, typically between $600-2,000 depending on time and duration of the repair. If it is after hours, the rates are about $600 per hour.”

UT is keeping the final price of repairs for the Straz flood private. Details of these situations are kept confidential to ensure UT abide by FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) guidelines, according to Griffith.

“However, depending on the amount of water distributed and occupancy of the facility, the cost of damage can be in the thousands,” Griffith said.

Thousands of dollars you will have to pay if you, consciously or unconsciously, destroy UT property.

Veronica Sansur can be reached at

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