Stuff Guy

AC/Heat | Allergies |Bikes | Flu/Viruses in the Halls | Clogged drains|

Hey Stuff Guy

My drain is clogged. Can I use store bought drain chemicals to un clog it?

No, no, no, no, and no. Please do not put any chemicals down the drain. Unknown chemicals and mixing chemicals can damge our pipes and can be dangerous to residents and facilities staff.  Contact Facilites Management to address the problem.

Hey Stuff Guy

I heard there is an outbreak of the flu and a virus running through the halls. What can I do?

When people live in close proximity, such as in the halls, the flu and viruses can spread more readily. However, there are precautions that you can take to minimize your exposure for both air bourne and surface contaminents.

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, long duration is the key to removing the surface contaminants on the hands. Anti-bacterial soaps are of limited use and vigorous hand washing with plain soap will be more effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not share items, especially utensiles, plates and cups. Splitting a pizza or sharing a bag of chips are not good ideas.
  • Surfaces should be cleaned with a 10% bleach solution, but any commerical bleach cleaner will do the job. The most common surfaces to clean will be in the bathroom and the door knobs.
  • Any raw fruit should be washed thoroughly because you don't know who has been handing the fruit previously.
  • Get vaccinated against the flu.
  • Utilize the Health Center.
Hey Stuff Guy

I've heard about a bedbug outbreak on college campuses. What can I do to keep them out of my room?

If you are traveling:

  • Always inspect the bed in your motel/hotel. Take the sheet and pull it back and look at the folds and seams of the mattress. Check the mattress pad for signs of blood spots about the size of a pencil point.
  • When packing to leave, check your clothing and luggage for signs of the small insects.
  • If you get bitten while staying in a motel/hotel, look very carefully around the mattress and bed to try to determine if it is bed bugs. Report the situation to the motel/hotel staff.
  • Bedbugs can be killed by heat over 98 degrees. If you discover bedbugs in your clothing or linen, wash them in hot water and dry them in a dryer.
  • Carefully inspect anything you buy at a yard sale, garage sale, or thrift store-and wash it in hot water just to be safe.

Signs you might have bedbugs:

  • You have white to red bits that itch intensely
  • You discover small, light to dark brown, quarter-centimeter bugs on your sheets or couch; or
  • You discover small darkish-brown stains in the seams of your mattress

What to do if you think you have bedbugs:

  • Submit a work order to Facilities Management or have your RA fill out an extermination request form to have multiple rooms on your hall extermineated.
Hey Stuff Guy

How do you determine when the heat gets turned off and the AC turned on?

Ah... the weather in Williamsburg, where else can you wear shorts one day in January and then wear a sweater the next? With the exception of the Jamestown Buildings, Ludwell Apartments and Tribe Square our buildings are simply not designed to switch back and forth between heat and ac. The system in a residential house or apartment is small and usually a heat pump, which can be switched quickly between the two. But a heat pump is inefficient for large buildings, so our buildings rely on either chilled or heated water to control the temperature in our buildings. The catch is that the system can only do one at a time because there is only one set of pipes (2 pipe system: one to carry in the water and one to carry it out). In order to switch from heat to AC or vice versa we have to shut down the system, drain the water and then start it back up again - this can take up to 48 hours and often by that time the temperature has already changed back. This is why we identify switch over dates in October and April when we can switch over the entire campus at once - that keeps the systems running as smoothly as possible and does not put an undue strain on our older building systems. We have some control over the general temperature settings and we cut the heat back or AC to very low levels as the temperatures dictate.

Residence Life and Facilities Management monitor three different websites (National Weather Service, Weather Channel and Weather Underground) to get an idea of what is coming with the weather. Because of the lag time required to switch back and forth due to staffing and equipment requirements, we have to balance between anticipation and reaction to set the building systems between heat and air conditioning. A good analogy would be steering a car wit ha 10 second delay between moving the steering wheel and the tires actually turning. With that information in hand, we work to anticipate building settings based on the best forecast we have.

For more information on when we do the switch over, click here.

Hey Stuff Guy! 

My allergies are making me miserable, what can I do?

Welcome to the allergen capital of Virginia! Between the rivers, swamps, heat and humidity this is a perfect place for all kinds of stuff to make you sneeze and your head feel like it is going to explode. Stuff Guy had to go to an allergist himself and he has scars from 5 years of shots to prove it!

We do realize many of our students suffer from allergies and asthma. If you or your hall-mates have medical conditions requiring window air conditioning units, please refer to these instructions. Unfortunately we can't let just anybody bring their own window unit because the power drain on our building electrical systems would be too much.

If you have previously been approved for a window unit and have the unit in your room, just contact Facilities Management and they will install it for you.

Don't forget about the Health Center, they can help you with your sniffles as well!


Hey Stuff Guy!

I have a bike on campus and I don't know what do to with it for the summer?

You have two options: 1) You can either store your bike in one of the bike racks on the main level at the left and right of the main entrance in the Parking Garage. In order to do this, your bike must be registered with W&M Police and you should use your bike lock to secure it to the rack. You will be able to pick the bike up when you return to campus.  Neither W&M Police nor the College accept any liability for bikes stored in the garage.  2) You can get a temporary marking tag which must be placed on the handle bars of the bike before the announced annual abandoned bike collection conducted by W&M Police. All bikes without a tag will be seized and inventoried as abandoned property and subject to a fine. Neither a W&M bike decal nor a past year tag can be used as a current year tag.  Check the W&M Police website for details about the current year collection. Questions? Call 221-4596.