Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

Due to a possible crack in floor area of the Chick-fil-A at Sykes Student Union, grease from the fryers has been seeping into the ceiling of the ground floor of the Union causing intermittent leaking, and consequently, people slipping. Directly beneath Chick-fil-A is the Ram E Card office, where students receive identification card pictures and, incidentally, information on campus dining. Located to the right of the sign indicating the office name is a black bowl tied to a pipe which serves to catch any leakage from the ceiling.

Surrounding the circumference of the top of the pipe is caulking substance, attempting to seal the escaped grease, which has been done several times, according to an anonymous source. A caution sign remains directly beneath the bowl.

According to a staff member in the Union, the leaking seems to only happen when the school year begins. According to another staff member of the Union, the grease has dripped on people’s heads.

In addition, the source said that he in fact slipped from a puddle during the first weekend of school.

The two anonymous sources said that the dripping has existed for approximately three years. Earlier this semester, Environmental Safety examined the issue.

Director of Sykes Student Union Dave Timmann said that “the first time we noticed it (dripping), we put a cup to collect it.”

It has been over a year, according to Timmann, since the dripping has been noticed.

At one point in time, a bucket of sand was placed underneath the cup to prevent additional grease from landing on the floor.

The cup was changed, but earlier this week, according to Timmann, a member of the staff of the Sykes Student Union slipped. The grease went beyond the parameters of the cup and dripped onto the floor.

This was when the cup was removed again and replaced with the black bowl.

The black bowl, according to Timmann, covers more area and will serve as a temporary solution.

Although people have slipped, this is not a problem with excess grease in the fryers, according to Timmann.

Occasionally, a certain amount of grease can boil over, causing grease to go on the floor. Due to the hot temperature of the grease, it is able to seep into areas that are not visible behind the fryers, which eventually permeate into cracked concrete and, consequently, into the ceiling below.

Concrete can endure various cracks and fragmentation. One cause of cement fragmentation is thermal cracks which is due to a difference in temperature of the surface and interior concrete.

When concrete cracks, it pulls apart and contracts. Specifically, it causes “tensile stresses,” according to Cement.org.

“It’s not a sanitation issue in my estimation,” Timmann said.

One Ram’s head employee said that the floors at Chick-fil-A are mopped every ten minutes. The area behind the fryers is mopped before the workday begins.

The grease, which is in minimal amounts according to Timmann, said that its capacity to seep on to the floor is not immediate. It can take a few weeks to penetrate the ceiling, and only two or three drops can cause a slippery surface.

The manager and employees of Aramark in Sykes are aware of the situation, according to Timmann, and once the manager actually cleaned the area.

To remedy this situation, Timmann said the fryers in Chick-fil-A will be removed, the areas will be mopped and furthermore the area will be sealed during fall break.

“Whenever we find things that are unsafe, we work pretty quickly to ensure that people will be safe coming into the building,” Timmann said.”I don’t want anybody slipping in this building.”

Nicole Fortuna is a second-year Honors College student majoring in Literature with a minor in Linguistics. She can be reached at NF626790@wcupa.edu.

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