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The Compass Friday, March 8, 1996 5
New Dorm residents petition officials
to correct problems with hot water
by Angela Bumis
ECSU sophomore Shronda Smith is
one of many residents of the new
women's dorm who is tired of living
with no hot water, inadequate heat and
no working elevator.
"If I have to pay $125 to stay in the
new dorm, I expect to have hot water
when I take a shower, heat in my room
on cold nights and a fxmctional eleva
tor," said Smith.
Smith is one of the 141 residents of
the 200-resident new dorm who have
signed a petition demanding that
ECSU's administration guarantee that
they have hot water. If the problem is
not corrected, the students are request
ing a refund of the $125 fee they have
paid to live in the new dorm.
"I like to bathe in hot water, not cold,"
said Smith. "I would have stayed in
another dorm if I knew I was going to
encounter these problems."
Students say they are often without
hot water, and maintenance is slow to
respond to their complaints. One stu
dent, Angel Thurston, said she has been
without hot water since Dec. 17.
"The week that it snowed, I had to
warm up some water in a microwave
to get hot water," said Elizabeth Banks,
the petition's originator and a resident
assistant in the new dorm.
"We've spent three to four days with
out an elevator, and we have to hike
up the steps," said Tiffany Newell, a
resident of the new dorm.
Students have also complained about
rooms being either too cold or too hot.
Temperature is controlled by a ther
mostat on the first floor which is oper
ated by maintenance personnel. Room
mates Towanda Taylor and Lynette
Hall complain that their room is so hot
they have to cover the vent. Two other
tenants, Danyel Davis and Gloria Baits,
complained of rapid temperature
changes in their rooms.
"It's impossible to do homework in
a room that's freezing one minute and
roasting the next," said Baits.
"I constantly have colds because of
the variation of temperature in my
room," said Davis. "Some days cold
air actually comes out of my vent."
Many students say they have been
making complaints for years, with no
results or relief from their problems.
"Administration doesn't want to listen
to our problems," said Taylor. "We give
them our complaints; they shake their
heads as if they are going to fix the
problem, but nothing happens."
Given the number of difficulties in
the new dorm, some students say they
miss living in former dorms.
"When we were residing in Bias Hall
last year, we encoimtered less prob
lems," said Tmieka Whitehead, and it's
(one of) the oldest dorms on campus."
New Dorm Director Charlotte Gre
gory declined to comment on the com
Kenneth Roberts, Director of ECSU
Housing, said he reports complaints
about dorms to the physical plant. "Un
til the problem is solved I just ask stu
dents to be patient," he added.
About 35 students voiced their com
plaints about the new dorm to Roger
McLean, Vice Chancellor for Business
and Finance in a Feb. 13 meeting.
McLean promised to look into the prob
lems; however he said the University
would not refimd the students $125.
McLean said he applauded the stu
dents' efforts to improve conditions
and encouraged them to trust that ad
ministrators would solve their prob
lems. Many students walked out of the
meeting, however, feeling nothing was
ECSU senior and new dorm presi
dent Valerie Bouldin expressed her
frustration about the complaints.
"I have been through all the chains
of command," said Bouldin, "all the
way to the interim chancellor himself.
I'm fed up and I don't feel like I'm
asking too much. I just want some hot
water and some heat."
James Turner, director of ECSU's
physical plant, said he was unaware of
many of the problems in the new dorm.
"We can't fix anything we know
nothing about," said Turner. "When the
plant receives complaints involving no
hot water and inadequate heat, I per
sonally contact the gas company to re
solve the problem.
"On the week that it snowed and
there was no hot water and the heat
wasn't functioning, I realized that the
heating and water system was low on
gas," Turner added. "I immediately
called the gas company to come over
Some students say the problems lie
within the construction of the building.
"This building was just thrown up
in six to seven months," said EUzabeth
Banks said she and several other stu
dents have contacted attorneys about
Students feel the refund will com
pensate them for the inconvenience,
The new dorm was completed in
Their expressions registering their dispieasure, a group of residents of the New Dorm pose with a petition demanding that administration correct iong-standing
problems with hot water and temperature controls in the dorm. The 141 signers of the petition are seeidng a return of the $125 housing fee they paid to live in the
new dorm, as compensation for their inconvenience. pf,g,„ i,y