Roderick McDavis

President Roderick J. McDavis

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President McDavis issues statement on West Union Street fire

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis released the following message earlier today regarding the fire early this morning on West Union Street.

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Early this morning, a fire erupted in several of the buildings on Union Street, causing extensive damage. Approximately 40 students are known to have been displaced. Our thoughts go out to all the members of our University and Athens communities affected by this incident.

The fire is under control while firefighters continue to extinguish hot spots.
Of immediate concern is the wellbeing of the students who have been displaced. The Dean of Students and her staff set up a comfort station in Baker University Center early this morning. The displaced students’ most-immediate needs are toiletries and warm clothing. To provide support to affected students, a donation station has been established on the fourth floor of Baker University Center, and donations are being accepted to the University’s Parents and Family Emergency Fund at (select OHIO Parents and Family Fund).

Along with Student Affairs and other University staff, I will be attending a meeting for impacted students and their parents who are on campus that will be held in the Baker University Center Ballroom today at 4 p.m. The meeting will include representatives from Residential Housing, colleges and academic support offices. If you are aware of students affected by this incident, please encourage them to attend this meeting. We are providing immediate resources and support for students in a variety of ways. We also are working to assist those impacted students with securing textbooks and other materials they need to meet their academic needs to complete the fall semester.

We appreciate the continued outpouring of care and support that has been extended both within and outside the OHIO community, all of which underscore our values as a Bobcat family.

The University’s building at 31 South Court Street has not been damaged by the fire. Electrical service to the area has been shut down. Students who reside in apartments at 31 South Court Street have not been evacuated and we are hopeful that power will be restored today.

We are also working with the city of Athens to support their efforts in addressing this situation.

Updates will continue to be provided at


Roderick J. McDavis