Students take issue with Emerson’s maintenance process

It may seem as though maintenance is slacking when there is only one working washing machine, or there’s a dresser drawer that’s been jammed all day, but Facilities Management has behind-the-scenes protocol and limitations that affect their jobs and, therefore, residence life.

According to Emerson’s official website, the Little Building houses 748 students, the Paramount Center houses 262, the Colonial Building houses 372, and Piano Row houses 554. That enables 1,936 students to live on campus and to cause and discover problems that involve plumbing, lighting, carpentry, elevators, pest control, electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, moving, and more.

Junior Little Building resident  and communication disorders major Julie Whalen has needed several repairs to her LB suite. She said her blinds fell off the wall last semester.

“I went online and filled out the maintenance sheet that contacts maintenance. I think they showed up 24 hours later,” she said.

Whalen said that afterward, she contacted maintenance for a broken shower head and sink as well.

Get This Week's News

All the big stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning 

“[The sink] was put together with tape and so it just started falling, all the pipes, so we called the emergency number and they actually came right away that day,” Whalen said. “They completely repiped it and welded, and we’ve had no problems since.”

Within Emerson Facilities Management, there are eight to nine maintenance workers working three shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“There is always somebody here,” said Anthony Presutti, the Master Locksmith in Facilities Management.

Though the Little Building was physically built in 1917, when Presutti started working there in 1995, it “was completely gutted and done over, [and] same with the Colonial Building,” Presutti said.

When Whalen needed her shower head fixed at the beginning of the semester, she said that maintenance entered her suite without any notification.

“You have no idea when they come, and they just let themselves in if nobody’s there,” Whalen said. “But otherwise they are pretty nice. They don’t judge us for snapping our shower heads off.”

Whalen said they could improve their notification system for when they show up to fix issues.

“They could email you a time frame that they would be showing up in so that you have the option to be there if you wanted to,” Whalen said.

According to Presutti, there are certain restrictions that force workers to go in, whether the student is there or not.

“If you’re not in your room, we still have to respond because there are time limits on the priorities of the work orders,” Presutti said. “Each work order has a priority, and if it’s a high priority, then it needs to be responded to within an hour or within four hours.”

Presutti said the typical work order has to be dealt with within three days.

The seventh floor of the Little Building only has one working washing machine in their laundry room, according to freshman Visual and Media Arts major Bella Mumma.

“It’s been like this all year. For a week it worked, but it hasn’t worked since. All the residents complain to the RAs a lot and they file work orders or they request maintenance to come look at it,” Mumma said. “Nothing really changed.”

The one working washer is becoming a source of tension for the floor, according to Mumma.

“It’s just really annoying because people are always waiting to do their wash,” Mumma said. “It’s frustrating.”

When there are roughly 80 residents per floor, one washing machine with a cycle of 34 minutes is inconvenient, Mumma said.

“You get used to doing your laundry at obscure times,” Mumma said.