For most students, going to class without pants is just a bad dream. For Nate Wiener ’23, it was a Wednesday morning.
Wiener was in the shower at around 8:20 a.m. when “an improperly marked gas line was punctured during the installation of a sign-post in front of Allen House,” according to a Student-Info email from Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman. The gas leak affected Mather Hall as well as McBride Hall, where Wiener lives.
“I hear an alarm go off. And I’m like, ‘I’m in the shower, this can’t be happening,’” said Wiener. “‘I’m just gonna stand here for like two more minutes and brush my teeth.’ Then I realized, oh, there are people running and screaming … I need to actually get out of here.”
Campus Safety and the College Township Fire Department arrived quickly to evacuate Mather and McBride. Residents were unable to return to the dorms while Columbia Gas “assessed the situation and areas were purged of any fumes,” according to the email from Kohlman.
That left Weiner stranded in his navy blue towel, boxers and a women’s volleyball T-shirt he borrowed from a friend. “So I go get breakfast,” he said. “I have nothing else to do. And then I’m still locked out of my dorm room, so I have to go to class.”
At 10:09 a.m., a Kenyon Alert announced that Mather and McBride had been reopened. After back-to-back classes, Wiener returned to his room at around 11:30 a.m. to retrieve his phone, his wallet and a pair of pants.
Some buildings on North campus were still experiencing a gas outage as late as 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Hot water and clothes dryers were unavailable in those buildings until the line was repaired.