Duke has heard of Urinetown—but what about UrineBrown?

Several students in Brown residence hall on East campus have reported urine leaking from the second floor into the kitchen on the first floor. The kitchen is currently closed to residents until repairs can be made. The building—originally constructed in 1927—is home to 125 freshmen.

“We were...in the kitchen, and pee started flying from the ceiling,” said freshman Lanre Oshin, a Brown resident.

Other students recounted similar stories of entering the kitchen unaware of the leak until encountering it themselves.

“I opened the kitchen door to get water from the water fountain, and I felt droplets on my forearm,” freshman Ahmed Mohamed said.

He said he did not know there was an issue with the kitchen until a fellow resident informed him that the liquid was due to a leak from the second floor’s plumbing. Mohamed said that he immediately showered and avoided the kitchen. Shortly thereafter, HDRL posted a sign on the door asking residents not to use the kitchen.

Brown’s plumbing issue coincides with its re-opening after undergoing major renovations this summer that improved the bathrooms, common room and kitchen and created a new study room. Brown is also now home to Duke Stores’ East Campus location— which occupies the former computer cluster area. The store, which was previously located on Marketplace’s bottom floor, was relocated to make way for new classrooms in Marketplace’s basement as part of the East Union renovation project. In Feb. 2014, a fire broke out on the dorm’s third floor, temporarily displacing several students.

Joe Gonzalez, dean for residential life, said that the leak was unconnected to the renovations and that it would take “a few days” before the kitchen could be reopened. He also noted that he could not confirm that the leak was in fact urine.

Freshman Dorothy Alexis noted that bathroom quality has been a concern among Brown residents and said that several House Council candidates spoke about crowding in the bathrooms due to a lack of stalls and plumbing issues in their campaign speeches at the Brown house meeting Sunday. Alexis said, however, that she was not aware of the urine leak and has had generally positive experiences with the Brown bathrooms.

“I live on the first floor so the girls’ bathroom has five shower stalls. I’m usually almost always in the bathroom by myself,” she noted.