A chemical substance named thoil was poured down the drain during a lab in Hutchinson Hall on Monday, resulting in an odor associated with natural gas spreading across various buildings in the close vicinity.

Goergan Athletic Center was evacuated shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Monday, and some classes either were cancelled or ended early in Lattimore Hall, Morey Hall and Meliora Hall.

“It’s what the gas company uses to add to natural gas,” Director of River Campus Facilities Jeff Foster said of the substance. “[It was] dumped down a drain that got down into the sewer system.”

The substance traveled through the system, causing the odor to be detectable near manholes and venting systems.

“The chemical is detectable in very low concentrations,” Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin said.

Security responded to several calls, and attempted to determine if there was a gas leak, according to Mauldin. The Rochester Fire Department and Environmental Health and Safety responded to the incident.

UR Students visit Amistad replica in Buffalo

A group of UR students visited a replica of the famous ship – Amistad – in Buffalo, NY, on Sept. 12. The trip allowed 47 students an opportunity to visit the past and gain first-hand experience of the story of this ship. Historian and Post-Doctoral Fellow from the Frederick Douglass Institute, David Lewis-Coleman went on the trip.

“It was great, informative, engaging and moving,” he said. “These kinds of activities are important, especially today when human rights are in jeopardy and need to be defended constantly.”

Rev. Greg Osterberg, of the UR Protestant Community, helped to organize the event.

“I am thankful to be able to have the Protestant Community work with the university to create a better learning community,” Osterberg said.

As soon that the Amistad replica was in Buffalo, Osterberg made arrangements to buy tickets and distribute flyers around the campus. The students travelled on a Coach USA bus and arrived at the port within two hours, giving them just enough time to learn about the ship’s history before they arrived.

Gladys Pedraza-Burgos from the Office of Minority Student Affairs said that the event was initiated in conjunction with several departments – OMSA, UR Protestant Community, the Frederick Douglass Institute for African-American Studies, and the departments of Anthropology and History.

“Fortunately, it was a lovely day and we had a diverse group of students attend,” Pedraza-Burgos said. “The whole experience was wonderful and very, very moving.”

On the way to Buffalo, the students watched the movie “Amistad.” Upon arrival, the students boarded the ship and took a 30-minute tour.

Junior LaToya McQuater attended the excursion. “To know their story and then go see the replica of their experience was very moving. It was informative and interesting,” she said.

For more information, visit www.AmistadAmerica.org.

Reporting by Chadwick Schnee and Sally Raygoza.

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