Section: News

Students report discrepancies in work order prioritization

Students report discrepancies in work order prioritization

Photo by Kristen Huffman

Two months ago, Dana Oakes ’18 and Heather Pacheco ’18 received a surprise guest at their third-floor room in Mather Residence Hall when a squirrel made its way through a hole underneath their radiator. “We started finding nuts everywhere,” Oakes said. “We could also hear it scurrying around at night.”

About a week after the first squirrel sighting, the roommates called Campus Safety, who offered to submit a work order, but the pair did not receive a confirmation email. On Nov. 13, a Community Advisor (CA) filed another work order for them, this time with a confirmation that the work order had been received. According to the roommates, the problem has not been fixed, nor have they heard further from Maintenance.

Clinton Baker, facility logistics manager, said their work order was accepted and completed over Thanksgiving break. “If there’s an ongoing problem, we haven’t been informed of it,” he said.

The work order system is in place for students to communicate issues with their living spaces to Maintenance, but some students say their problems are not dealt with in a timely manner — or, occasionally, go unaddressed. There have been 13,384 work orders submitted since July 2014, according to Baker. Several students approached for this article said they learned to live with their issue, fixed the issue themselves or told their CAs. CAs, however, are recommended to submit forms only for common areas rather than for dorm rooms, to avoid multiple work orders for the same problem.

Maddi Pinto ’18, who lives in Leonard Residence Hall, said she filed a work order in early September about holes in her window screen that allowed bugs to enter the room. That same week, she received a confirmation email that the work order had been received, but the problem still has not been fixed. She has heard nothing further from Maintenance.

“I’ve heard a lot of people complaining that nobody has come to address what they put in their work order, or that it’s taken way too long, even for serious issues,” Pinto said.

But not everyone has found the work order process a slow one. Alex Middleberg ’18, Sam Troper ’18 and Hannah Davidoff ’18 submitted a work order in November for the doorknob of their North Campus Apartment, which had fallen off. In the hour it took them to have lunch, Maintenance fixed the problem and emailed them that the work order had been completed.

Baker said time from work order submission to completion depends on a lot of elements — staff members, supplies and how many people must be sent to complete repairs.

“There’s emergencies, which are drop-everything-now situations, and urgent, which are 24-hour situations,”  Baker said. “Otherwise, work orders typically take around two weeks to complete.”

Manning Hall resident Paige Ballard ’18 found herself in one of those emergency situations. Ballard discovered a flooded bathroom in the building and called Campus Safety, who sent Maintenance to fix the problem about 10 minutes after the call. Maintenance also revisited the bathroom the next day to make sure the situation had not reoccurred. However, no official work order was submitted. Baker said situations like this are classified as emergencies because they could cause more extensive damage.

Oakes and Pacheco, while still facing their squirrel issue, have taken a light-hearted approach to the situation. “We’ve been living with it for months at this point and honestly, we’re finding it hysterical,” Oakes said. “We’ve named him Ferdinand, because what else were we going to do?”


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