Supposed gas leak in engineering building may cause health problems

The Weber State University Engineering Technology Building is said to have a gas leak, causing student medical problems. Senator Carli Hawkes brought the issue to the student senate on Monday, claiming that one of her constituents has been required to get a heart monitor from what her doctor has stated may be due to the gas.

Hawkes said that classes have been canceled several times because of the leak, and many students have also experienced minor health problems, such as headaches, from prolonged exposure to the air in the building.

The senate did not continue discussing the matter after prompting from senate president Brady Harris to await more information.

A representative from WSU Facilities Management confirmed that there have been calls made to their office about the building, saying, “Yesterday someone called reporting a ‘gas smell’.”

A plumber was sent to take care of the problem, though no conclusive report was filed based on what was done there.

Rick Orr, the department of engineering technology chair, said he “hadn’t heard a peep” concerning the alleged gas leak. He said the “sewer-like” bad smell is attributed to an old photography lab dilution tank in the Engineering Technology Building.

“We actually haven’t had classes canceled, to my knowledge,” Orr said. “But we’ve had students complain about the stinky smell.”

Orr said that, especially on Mondays, a sewer-type smell will bother students, but this problem has been going on for years. According to Orr, safety personnel have checked out the tank and deemed its contents non-toxic and free of carbon monoxide.

“We haven’t had any gas leaks or anything like that,” he said. “(Fixing the tank) is going to make a lot of students very happy.”

Harris declined to comment on the issue. He said he’d like to get more information about it before going on record.

Hawkes declined to release the name of the student she spoke with, stating she didn’t feel comfortable releasing the information until it was verified further.

The Signpost will update this story as more information becomes available.