by Leah Dwyer
Move-in can be a stressful experience, especially when the college doesn’t help to make it easier on you.
Students who were moving into new apartments were greeted with missing furniture and broken lights. Those coming back after break were welcomed home to rat traps and doors that didn’t close.
“I wish the housing department had made it a little easier and made me feel a little bit less stressed out about moving to a whole new place even a whole new state,” said freshman political science major, Vincent Padula. Padula came from Florida for his first semester on campus in the NEU (also known as the commons).
Padula’s apartment had broken lights and contained items that didn’t belong to him nor his roommate. The problem, however, seemed to be what was missing.
“We had not received any couches in the living room forcing us to sit on the floor,” he said.
Michelle Gomez, a sophomore biology major, found her NEU apartment in what appeared to be good condition. After settling in, however, Gomez discovered the fridge was broken, leaving all her food had spoiled, as well as a broken shower and leaking toilet.
“I didn’t have problems like this before,” she said.
Victoria Bongiovanni, a senior photography major, lived on campus in the fall and returned to her apartment in Alumni Village. Upon her return, she found her apartment in worse condition than she left it at the end of last semester.
“None of our possessions were moved as far as we could tell,” she said. “But we found rodent bait around our apartment that we were not made aware of, my bedroom door lock doesn’t function, and the bathroom door does not close anymore.”
Bongiovanni sent videos representing how her doors no longer worked.
According to Michael Kopas, the Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Planning, the housing facilities occupied by returning students, are only tampered with if a student files a work order, or if the Office of Community Engagement reports any issues during their scheduled walkthroughs over the break.
The units that new students were moving into were inspected by the Office of Community Engagement and Facilities Management, according to Kopas.
“Out of 900 students, only a small percentage of housing issues were reported and came to our attention,” he said. “I believe the ones reported have been repaired or taken care of in some way.”
However, according to some students, this didn’t seem to be the case.
“I placed a work order for both of our doors and we have yet to hear back about them,” said Bongiovanni.
“I had emailed the head of facility management to supply us with a couch, but the couch was never brought,” Padula said.
Not every student faced issues however, Gomez said that her issues were fixed the day after she moved in.
“They reacted well and helped me as much as they could,” she said.
“We need students to put work orders in to notify facilities and OCE staff of necessary repairs in their spaces as soon as they occur,” Kopas said. “Delays or items not reported affect the college’s abilities to address issues in a timely manner.”
The move-in issues seemed to be more than just messy rooms and broken appliances. With COVID-19, students found that it meant more to them than a simple unclean room.
“It is a bit unnerving to come to a messy apartment amidst a pandemic,” Gomez said. “I did not want workers in my living space who are in and out of other students’ apartments.”
“I moved back in and found that my apartment clearly had people in it that tampered with things and left rodent bait without any kind of notice,” said Bongiovanni. “I felt like my personal space was really violated and spent the entire weekend disinfecting everything I owned.”