Troubles in Quad ongoing
Published: Monday, September 10, 2007
Updated: Monday, February 2, 2009 12:02
Julie Schmitt spent Thursday night on the floor. The Quad resident climbed up to her bed that day to do homework until its supports broke and part of it caved into the bottom bunk.
Schmitt, a freshman majoring in secondary education, made a maintenance request at the front desk and was told that the wrecked bunk would receive a rush maintenance response before the day ended.
"I waited and waited; It was five o'clock, and they hadn't come," Schmitt said.
She returned to the front desk, where she was informed her bed wouldn't be fixed until the next day.
"They asked me to pull my mattress down and sleep on the floor that night," Schmitt said.
Following this summer's rushed renovation and opening of part of the Quad - Dowd, Nash and White - Schmitt's maintenance request is one of a growing list of gripes from residents.
Roommates Mark Carter and Nick Novotney, freshmen majoring in political science and electrical engineering, respectively, could barely close their room's door for weeks.
"You had to ram the door with your shoulder if you wanted it shut," Novotney said.
The door's side required sanding. The roommates said it took three maintenance visits over two weeks for the door to close easily.
Along with the malfunctioning door, the two also needed a maintenance crew to fix their window, which wouldn't open. They said they had no hot water their first week, and during warm nights, white debris from the ceiling falls on their faces while they sleep.
"The Crossings was my first choice," Carter said. "That place is like a five-star hotel, and this is like the Motel 6."
Carter expressed doubt about the effectiveness of the renovation.
"It's not even a renovation," he said. "It just seems like they put makeup on it."
Jo Campbell, the new director of Residence Life, explained the renovation could have used more time.
"We weren't as ready as we would have liked," she said. "There were crews working 24/7 in the summer trying to get the place ready for students. My hope is next time we'll make the decision faster."
The choice to open the Quad this semester was fueled primarily by the surge in undergraduate enrollment, Campbell said. There wasn't enough room in the other residence halls for everyone.
Campbell said waiting to open the buildings would have been a good idea were it not for the enrollment spike.
"I think we did what we had to in order to accommodate students," she said.
According to Vice President of Student Affairs Kaye Patten Wallace, the decision to renovate was made as early as possible.
"We were monitoring the number of housing applications over the summer on a daily basis," Patten Wallace said. "We were able to track [them] and make a realistic decision based on that whether to go ahead with the renovation."
In regards to students waiting for maintenance, Campbell said, "It's not a perfect system."
"It depends on who you tell about the problem," Campbell said. "Sometimes, though, we have to order a certain part, which can take a few days, but we try to [give] all the information we get to students."
Likewise, Quad resident advisers Vincent Schiavone, a sophomore majoring in English and political science, and Andrea Son, a junior majoring in pharmacy, stressed the importance of proper communication and patience.
"Instead of calling maintenance people or the R.A. desk, they call their parents," Schiavone said.
Son agreed, adding that students need to be more tolerant of the situation.
"We try to get a hold of maintenance for them, but people aren't patient," she said.
Patten Wallace pointed out that all maintenance requests are centralized, so the response time at the Quad should be the same as anywhere else on campus.
The kinds of maintenance requests made at the Quad are common in all residence halls too said Patten Wallace.
"They're basically general maintenance requests, and some of them aren't even associated with the renovation," she said.
Not all residents are unhappy with the Quad.
Despite her bed's collapse, Schmitt said she and her roommate don't mind living there.
"We agreed if it was as terrible as everyone said that we'd get out, but it wasn't too bad," Schmitt said.
Aside from the bed, Schmitt said she hasn't experienced any other problems requiring maintenance.
"I think it's just the ones with the problems who don't like it here," Schmitt said.
Schmitt made another request at the front desk for the repair Friday morning. Her bed was fixed that afternoon, after three requests and a night on the floor.
"It wasn't the best situation, and it was annoying at the time," she said, "but I'm just glad it's taken care of."