Seton Hill’s Sticky Situation

(Seton Hill, Pa.) – When walking around Seton Hill’s campus you may have noticed that the COVID-19 guideline stickers are still up. Stickers that say things like “Keep 6ft apart”, “Up Only”, and “Keep Right” are still scattered around campus despite the guidelines not being in place any longer. 

“As I was giving tours, I realized that the floors were starting to get torn up by the stickers,” said Griffin tour guide Shania Lipinski. “Some of the stickers seemed to be coming off with ease, but others started cracking the floor tiles in certain hallways.”

The Stickers were placed in August of 2020 when students were returning from quarantine. 

“Unfortunately putting them on wood surfaces and some of our older tile floors, they have not come up really easily,” said vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer, Jennifer Lundy. “so you’ll see sort of a ghost image on the wood sometimes where the finish was damaged a little bit by the sticker.”

The hallway by the commuter lounge between Maura and Admin seems to be where the damage is mostly a problem. 

“More problematic is on the tile. When we go to pull it up, in some of those cases the tile is really brittle and it is coming up too,” said Lundy. “That flooring needs to be replaced. It is asbestos-containing material in the glue that holds the tile down. It is not a risk to anybody unless you were cutting it up and actually making it airborne. At this point, we are leaving it in place until we can do a larger project to remediate all of that. They would do a project where they would remove all of the asbestos-containing materials away. They have to seal everything and it would be a really disruptive project so we are gonna be looking at doing that soon.” 

“We never thought they would stick like they did, they were vinyl so they were supposed to just peel right up,” said director of custodial services, Peter Speicher. “and they did, but sometimes they brought up what was underneath it.”

In some situations, it was decided that it was best to leave some stickers up. 

“In Admin, we were asked to leave them for the stairwells,” said Speicher. “We did not try to remove those.”

“We worked with a vendor and they thought things would be okay but you just don’t know,” said Lundy. “With some of the older materials, we tested some in the beginning when we had to relocate things and they came up great, but after people tread on them for a year it was harder to pull them up this past summer when we tried.”

In places like the hallway by the commuter lounge, the damage is very visible. 

“You hate to say that something that was already old and needed replacing was damaged because of something like this,” said Lundy. “It didn’t speed up the damage to those floors it just makes more visible than it would have otherwise been.”

“I think it’s just understanding,” said Lundy referring to students and faculty on campus. “It is helpful for people to know. We want to do it right and actually put in flooring that is gonna last for a while in that hallway.” 

By: Ashley Grasinger