Residence hall beds collapsing in Schroeder and Abbottsford

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Residence hall beds collapsing in Schroeder and Abbottsford

Catherine Sajdak said she put very little weight on the bed when it collapsed.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Sajdak

Catherine Sajdak said she put very little weight on the bed when it collapsed. Photo courtesy of Catherine Sajdak

Catherine Sajdak said she put very little weight on the bed when it collapsed. Photo courtesy of Catherine Sajdak

Catherine Sajdak said she put very little weight on the bed when it collapsed. Photo courtesy of Catherine Sajdak

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During the fall 2019 semester, two students reported their beds collapsing, one in Schroeder Hall and one in Abbottsford Hall. Pictures of the collapsed beds were posted onto the Barstool Marquette Instagram page. 

Catherine Sajdak, a first-year student in the College of Education who lives in Abbottsford, said she was climbing into her bed “with little to no weight on it, and it collapsed down.”

Sajdak said she was shocked but laughed about it after it happened. She said maintenance fixed the bed two days later and came every day after the collapse to make sure it was secure.

Rick Arcuri, executive director of business operations and auxiliary services, whose role is to tend to maintenance in residence halls and apartments, said the building staff notified him about Sajdak’s bed collapse in Abbotsford.

“The center support rod in the student’s bed became loose, and the boards that rest on it fell through,” Arcuri said.

Because Sajdak was not actually on the bed at the time of the collapse, the frame of the bed was still standing. Arcuri said this was the first time they had ever heard about a bed collapsing. He said a company called RT London makes the furniture that was in this particular room, but they have furniture from several different companies in different dorms and rooms. Arcuri said this particular furniture was 13 years old.

Vadym Scherba, a sophomore in the College of Engineering who lives in Schroeder, was the other student whose bed collapsed.

“As I was climbing into bed, I heard a loud crash, and the bed ended up tipping over on top of me,” Scherba said. “I fell over from the top bunk, and my back hit the corner of a chair and then flat on the ground.”

Scherba said the bed ended up missing his friend by mere inches while he was on the couch in the room. He said the fall also caused his TV to break. He added that at first he was in shock, but then made sure his friend was OK.

Scherba and his friend were both left unhurt after the bed collapsed. He said cleaning up the mess was “pure chaos.”

Scherba said the process of getting the bed fixed and put back together took about five days. He said he is not concerned this will happen again because the bed seems secure.

However, Scherba said when he went to meet with the residence hall administrator, they said there was “nothing they could do” because they had never seen anything like it. Scherba said he was told that because it was a new situation, they would be forced to claim it was “human error” that caused the bed to collapse and they would not be replacing anything that was damaged, like the TV. However, Scherba said “the main point was that no one got hurt, and hopefully this doesn’t happen again.” 

Arcuri said his department sent several employees to look at the bed, and it was in the hallway when they got there.

“They put the bed together and didn’t find anything wrong with it,” Arcuri said. “They did notice the student had removed the guard rail so they reinstalled it.”

The workers that came to look at the bed had the impression that the bed had been pulled over on its side and that caused the j-hooks to fall out of the frame causing it to collapse, Arcuri said.

Mary Janz, executive director of housing and residence life at Marquette, also said the bed appeared to collapse due to student misuse, citing facility staff.

To prevent more beds from collapsing, Arcuri said they are asking students to make sure the hardware that holds the bed together is secure, and if a student finds any loose parts, they should report it. A maintenance worker will then come and tighten the parts. 

Scherba said he thinks “Marquette could make sure the beds are stable enough or replace beds that are not considered safe” to prevent more beds from collapsing.

Sajdak also said the university could have workers check the beds when people move in, and if this situation keeps happening, maybe get new furniture.

This story was written by Matthew Choate. He can be reached at matthew.choate@marquette.edu.