By: ALLISON KURTZ – Staff Writer
On March 27, in the celebratory wake of the University of Dayton men’s basketball team defeating Stanford University to advance to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament, the roof of 430 Kiefaber St. partially collapsed under the weight of multiple people, resulting in property damage assessed at almost $5,000.
Shelby Martin, one of the five residents of the house and a senior psychology major, said the roof was easily accessible, making it difficult for her and her housemates to control who climbed on and off it.
“It just got to be an overwhelming amount of people and then it just fell,” Martin recalled.
The residents of 430 Kiefaber reported that, despite there being several people—including three residents—on the roof at the time of collapse, there were no injuries as a result of the incident.
After the collapse, the porch was assessed for safety and damages, Martin said. It was deemed unstable and cordoned off with caution tape while repair estimates were given at $4,470. The residents say that because the house is landlord, they will be responsible for raising the money to repair the damages.
Martin said construction began April 11 and is projected to be completed by semester’s end.
To help pay for the damages, the residents set up an account on GoFundMe.com, a website that utilizes crowdsourcing to fundraise for a variety of personal ventures. After a GoFundMe account is created, any person or organization can donate to that cause, according to the website.
On April 10, the residents said they had raised $2,200 through the website, about half of the desired amount, but said they did not expect to raise the remainder.
“It’d be nice,” Ellen Corlett, another 430 Kiefaber resident and senior communication major, said about reaching their monetary goal. “But,” she continued, “the donations we’ve already gotten, we’re so appreciative for.”
According to GoFundMe.com, as of April 22 “fundRAISE the ROOF” has received $3,095 from 97 donors.
Martin said the idea to use GoFundMe came from a simple internet search. “Our roommate Steph just started googling websites where you can raise money and GoFundMe was the first one that popped up, so we decided to use it,” she said.
The collapsed roof and associated GoFundMe account caught the attention of BroBible.com, a popular college-focused website and blog. In an April 4 article entitled “Help These University of Dayton Girls Fix Their Roof!” BroBible featured the residents’ story and encouraged readers to help by donating to their cause.
The residents said the experience as a whole has shown them the generosity of the UD community and will be one they will always remember.
“We are so, so grateful to everyone who has donated . . .it’s given us such a sense of community just to know that the Flyers have our backs,” they said, adding that they were just glad to have been a part of the festivities.