By Susan Fekecs
In Pitman Hall there are scratches on desks, phone jacks that don’t work and broken refrigerator doors. Students living there want to know why.
Karen Bahula, a first-year radio and television arts student and a resident in a suite at Pitman Hall, has chips in her wall, tables with coverings coming off, a refrigerator with broken shelves and a freezer missing one shelf.
“At the beginning of the year all the RAs [resident assistants] were strongly enforcing the fact that we would receive any fines for any damages done during the year,” Bahula says. “But then you look at the damages done in past years and nothing has been fixed. So where does all the fine money go?”
Her suite-mate, Emma Kirk, a first-year fashion marketing student, thinks the whole situation is odd. “Why aren’t they fixing what’s been broken?” she asks.
Brian Muscat, housing manager at Pitmal Hall, says money charged for damaged goods. “We use the money, but we may not use it today,” he says.
Damage charges go into an operating fund, says Muscat, and are ear-marked toward damaged property.
So far this year, half of the students’ doors have been repainted, with the other half scheduled to be done this semester. The money students were charged for defacing the doors in the past went towards the repainting this year.
Ripped couches were reupholstered this year at a cost of $25,000 — that’s in addition to the $20,000 Pitman Hall spent to replace torn couches last year.
Still, some students are miffed important things have not been fixed.
“I put a maintenance request form in for my phone jack but they said it was the phone. I’ve gotten three new phones and none have worked,” says Natalie Allen, a first-year fashion design students. Allen also has an electrical outlet coming out of the wall and the front of one of her dresser drawers keeps falling off.
She just wants to know why things such as these haven’t been fixed. “It looks like they are taking the money and pocketing it,” she says.
Muscat said compared to the merchandise, “The cost we may charge someone is usually a lot less.” If a desk is damaged with a scratch or stain it is still useable and the money charged for the damages goes towards the future of replacement or to replace something else.