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Residence Life Pays Little Attention To Maintenance Issues

by Angela Fortuna

Central Connecticut State University welcomed new and returning students this fall with a new mini golf course and hammocks outside, while leaving unresolved maintenance problems on the inside.

On Friday, Oct. 6, all actively enrolled students received an email from President Dr. Zulma Toro regarding a power outage that occurred on Saturday, Sept. 30 in both Robert Vance Residence Hall and Robert Sheridan Hall. The power did not come back until Sunday, Oct. 1 at 6 a.m.

“Because there was no electrical power, the halls were closed and the students living in those halls were displaced,” Toro said in her email to students. “It was very unfortunate that so many students’ lives were disrupted. I realize that University staff responded as quickly and professionally as they could under shifting circumstances, but I deeply empathize with the impacted students for the difficulties they had to confront in finding accommodations for the duration of the power outage.”

One CCSU student residing in Sheridan Hall, who wished not to be named, informed that students who lived in Sheridan and Vance had the choice of either sleeping in the lounges or basements of either Sam May Hall or Gaulladet Hall.

“Other than that, it’s like we were left on our own to find places to sleep,” said the student. “I think everyone did what they could to make it work but more communication on what happened and where to go would have been helpful.”

 When Residence Life was contacted by The Recorder for more information on the power outage, they responded saying they are unable to provide additional information at this time.

When The Recorder contacted resident assistants from each hall, they informed that they could not share any information due to contract restrictions.

Problems in Don F. James Hall include leaking toilets, stains on couches, chipped walls and even mold has reportedly grown in the bathrooms of a few suites.

Katie Bolduc, resident assistant on the third floor of James Hall, says “this building [James Hall] is falling apart.”

Bolduc said that a suite on the third floor of James Hall recently filed a complaint that their toilet was leaking, and has still not been fixed.

“I think that student satisfaction should come from residence hall updates before leisure activities,” said CCSU student Melissa Schuberth.

At the beginning of the semester, before students move into the residence halls, all RA’s are required to complete a form about the condition of each room on their floor. Buldoc informed that many of the requests she filed on her floor were not attended to, and many students were left with problems they could not fix.

“There is at least one drawer in every suite that would not open,” Buldoc said.

CCSU student Madison O’Neill informed that three out of six drawers in her room were broken when she moved into her dorm in James Hall.

“I heard that 100 students in my residence building had broken or dismembered furniture in their dorm when moving in,” O’Neill said.

With the recent tuition increase of about $500 from last year, O’Neill believes problems like this should not be happening.

Central offers nine residence halls, housing 23 percent of students, according to the CCSU website.

According to CCSU’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, in the Fall 2016 semester, 9,539 students commuted while just 2,245 lived on campus.

While the number of students living on campus seems low compared to commuters, most of the nine residence halls face unresolved maintenance issues.

“A few of my friends who live on campus always have something to complain about that needs fixing in their room,” Schuberth said.

Bolduc is having difficulty trying to get the drawers in her room to open; her clothes are scattered outside of her dresser because she does not believe the issue will get solved anytime soon, as it is not considered a “top priority” to Resident Life workers.

“[Hammocks and a mini golf course] aren’t a priority. Fixing the drawers and the bathrooms and everything is,” Bolduc said.

Many argue that CCSU is not spending their money wisely, and are concerned that issues that can be seen as a top priority are getting dismissed.

“I definitely think they should be putting more money into working on maintenance [issues] around the building,” Bolduc said.

Over the summer, history professor Matthew Warshauer spent many hours laying out and constructing CCSU’s new mini golf course, in which he described as having a “frivolous” budget.

It took 60 hours just to construct the mini golf course, according to Warshauer.

With the many residence hall issues going on, many students believe more needs to be done to ensure students have a good experience living on campus.