This article is the second in a series about on-campus housing at Meredith College. To read the first article, click here.
The first month at college as a freshman is widely regarded as an incredibly stressful experience. For many first-year students, this is their first time moving away from home, sharing a living space with strangers and figuring out how to navigate life independently. Housing issues on campus only add to students’ stress levels, as many have never had to handle situations like these on their own before. Unfortunately, housing issues have not been uncommon in Faircloth Residence Hall this year.
Faircloth is one of the oldest dorms at Meredith, which may be what is contributing to some of these problems. But regardless of the cause, these issues in the Residence Hall are causing students to be further stressed and, at times, have to sacrifice their schoolwork.
Faircloth first-floor resident Alisa Sample has found “quite a few bugs in [her] room,” as many other first-floor residents have also reported experiencing. Sample reported finding “a bunch of dead sprickets in [her] room” at move-in and has returned to find living ones in her room and bathroom on multiple occasions. Despite reports to Residence Life about the issue, nothing has been done to prevent bugs from entering residents’ rooms.
On Aug. 28, barely a week after move-in, a bathroom sink in between two rooms on the second floor of Faircloth Residence Hall started spewing wastewater, which overflowed onto the floors of both connected dorms. Zoe Gray, an affected resident, recounted her and her roommate, Hannah Smith, hearing “water trickling” in the bathroom, but assumed that one of their suitemates was taking a shower.
After a few hours of this noise, they opened the bathroom door to find that “the sink was overflowing, and the water was coming out all over the floor and onto us.” Lydia Grimes, one of the residents in the adjoining room, said that she and her roommate returned to their dorm after a night out to find that the water was all over their bedroom floor. They contacted the Resident Assistant and
Residence Director, who called Facilities Services to address the issue. However, Facilities said it was too late at night to fix the issue, so the residents had to move to empty dorm rooms until the following day.
After Facilities fixed the problem, residents were told that “someone from housekeeping was supposed to come clean up,” but no one ever came. Grimes said that she “had [her] dad bring a steam mop from home, and [she] had to clean up all the dirt left behind by the water.” She said that this took up a lot of time that she would have otherwise used for studying or completing homework. The residents also did not know what was in the water or if it was safe to touch, which added to the stress.
Continuing with the theme of broken plumbing and overflowing sinks, Abby Ruehle, a resident of Faircloth’s second floor, reported that the sink in her bathroom didn’t drain appropriately for almost five weeks. Residents first noticed this problem on move-in day and put in a maintenance request during orientation. Two weeks later, the Facilities crew showed up, but the problem remained after they left. When residents put in another request three weeks later, the second round of maintenance was able to correct the problem. However, the maintenance crew “didn’t give [residents] a time or date for when they were coming and showed up at 8 a.m.,” Ruele said.
When asked for her comment on the situation, Carrie Barnhart, the Director of Residence Life, said, “Meredith Residence Life and Facilities Services respond to issues in student housing as efficiently as possible. At times, judgment calls are made to assess what is needed at the moment and what will be least disruptive for students. While it is inconvenient not to have a sink or toilet working, sometimes that is more preferable for students than to have staff working in their bathroom until 2 a.m.
Students in on-campus housing who have maintenance issues should put in a maintenance request or call facilities, as that will be the fastest way to have it addressed. Use the Service Request Form, which is the most efficient method, or call (919) 760-8560. Residence Life staff can be of assistance, but reporting a facility concern to an RA or RD should be done in addition to submitting a work order directly to Facilities Services.”
By Clary Taylor, Copy Editor