We are writing to provide details on reports about the sprinkler system on the academic quad activating this morning near the ongoing demonstration.
The system for maintaining grounds has been deactivated since the last week in September as part of the University’s seasonal changeover protocol. This involves timed sprinklers being set to Fall and Winter settings, heating and cooling HVAC adjustments, and other weatherization checks for facilities campus-wide.
The sprinklers are powered through an external outlet connected to an academic building. Tampering with this outlet, such as removing and replugging the power cord for the sprinkler system, resets the timer to its factory settings.
Our investigation of this incident reveals that no work order or individual effort by our third-party landscaping vendor or Howard personnel was made to activate the system. Rather, it was unintentionally reset by someone seeking to use the power source for unauthorized energy use.
We remind all community members and visitors to the campus to remain mindful of resource and safety guidelines for University facilities and systems. These rules are in place to prevent injury, damage to property, or the creation of unsafe environmental conditions for our students, faculty and staff.