A phrase applied by authority figures in college dormitories to disuade the use of certain things (such as water fountains, bathrooms, or kitchens) for extended periods of time when, in truth, the appliance or room in question is actually in perfect working order.
This is usually a form of punishment implemented by people in positions of authority within a residence hall to teach the students a lesson.
Note, this tactic has had mixed results, in extreme cases of failure inciting riots and all out mayhem.
Someone threw up in the second floor water-fountain and then--after it was cleaned and visibly functioning--deemed "out of order".
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