By Virginia Nelson
It’s raining in the dorms! Well, not really, but water is certainly leaking from the ceiling. This winter has been a rainy one, and it is reasonable to assume that older buildings on campus would experience leaks from time to time. However, this is a campus-wide issue that is not being properly addressed.
Early this semester, in my own dorm room on the third floor of the Main building, I woke up to find water pouring from the ceiling in the hallway. This is an issue that has been ongoing since the beginning of last semester.
Maintenance was aware of the issue and even shut the water off for a week to fix it, leaving my wing and the wing above mine without access to toilets or showers unless we traveled to another wing. Now, the problem is back again.
You could always say that the Main building is just old and these problems cannot be fixed so easily. However, they are going on in Finley as well, which was built well after Main.
“Public safety told me that this has been an issue with the room for years now, and they are going to get it fixed soon,” said Brandi Bower, a sophomore residing in Finley. “That was Halloween! To this day the tile still leaks when it rains.”
Normally, issues such as this get taken care of within a month, as the maintenance team works hard to maintain the dorm buildings for students. However, waiting months, or even years in the case of the Finley leak, is ridiculous. Students pay thousands of dollars to live on campus, and it is reasonable to ask that the ceilings don’t leak.
I was curious about how student leadership viewed these problems, so I asked Student Body President and RA Deja Gainey about what is being done for students with these issues.
“We are the voice of the student body. We’ve had a lot of complaints from students about some of the residence halls, and have been telling the administration about the issues, including the board of trustees,” Gainey said. “We are trying to ensure students can have a better quality of life on campus.”
Overall, it seems like the administration and maintenance staff have been made aware of leaks and other issues, but simply either don’t have the resources or time to fix them. This is an issue that the administration will eventually need to address, as wet ceiling tiles that are left alone for extended amounts of time will eventually cause mold and mildew, which is detrimental to student health and wellness.
“We are systematically replacing the pipes as problems occur, and our main issue is Main building, as it has multiple sets of systems,” said John Cranham, head of WPU maintenance. “As you work your way down to the first floor, there’s a lot of connected pipes that are hard to get to sometimes.”
If you have issues in your dorm building, don’t be shy. Speak up about them, contact maintenance, and be persistent. It is important that students feel safe and comfortable in their dorm as many of us live here full time throughout the school year. It is important that as students we advocate for not only ourselves but each other as well.
Being at Peace is about finding your community while you are at school, and if that community happens to be one experiencing water leaks, well, grab a floaty and swimsuit, because we will be here for a while!