Ahh, EC. The sophomore’s wet dream. The junior’s reach. The senior’s promise. Securing a suite in East Campus is the milestone every CU student pictures in their head as they slowly decay through housing selection. Spilling b*er on the couches. Accidentally running a Tide Pod through the dishwasher. Plopping down onto your napkin stack of a mattress and grinning up at your popcorn ceiling after a long night in Butler. This is the fucking LIFE!!
Except that it’s not. Way back over summer, before the school year began, Facilities began to chip away at this dream. Stripping every kitchen of proper stoves and replacing them with what looks like are DJ turntables, students who preferred to scramble their eggs in the comfort of their private luxury EC kitchen were quickly humbled.
The housewarming chemistry sets were humbling in more ways than one. Not only did they help students to become resourceful, but they also challenged their patience. Every morning and night for two weeks, the fire alarms would remind everyone that yet another one of their classmates did not know how to use their new gift. In fact, our friends at the Columbia Spectator reported over 20 false alarms during the course of two weeks as facilities and students got it together. We really, really, really hope they didn’t have to hear them.
Weeks later, we rang in the month of spook, Hottober, in tank tops and short shorts. Seventy-nine degrees with 70% humidity to match made it no day for a blasting heater, yet this is exactly what residents were greeted with. There is always an awkward heat to AC transition during this time, but even more awkward was the mold that came with it. Students found their throats, noses, and chests protesting their new bacterial suitemates. Caused by a moisture issue with the AC units, symptoms of mold sickness became as common as the fire alarms. Several students were seriously impacted, some even sleeping in common areas rather than their bedrooms to avoid getting worse. After a volume of complaints, Facilities distributed some moisture-catchers to help combat the issue. The following is an artist’s rendering of what we imagine was distributed:
Winter break brought EC students a recess from their academic and social demands, but also from the attention seeking maintenance problems of their residence halls. While they were gone, however, she stayed right there on Morningside Drive, plotting her next move. Shortly after students returned to campus, they were greeted with yet another disappointing email from Facilities, informing them that they could dry their clothes in Wien, aka that they would be wearing dirty clothes until further notice:
A week later, students were updated with a 2-3 week repair timeline and again reminded of the presence of Wien’s laundry room. They also suggested that students dry their clothes without heat. After running a wet load for several hour long cycles, I personally found this method extremely ineffective. Two days ago, Housing sent the residents a detailed update, saying that the need for a new gas line was causing the delay. To alleviate the burden, they’ve provided students with carts to assist with transporting their laundry to Wien. After reaching out to facilities, Bwog received the following statement, which details these updates:
“Similar to the situation that led to turning off the gas lines to the EC kitchens, due to their old age, the pipes supplying gas to heat the East Campus laundry room dryers were showing signs of deterioration in January, requiring that we turn off the gas supply out of an abundance of caution. Since that time, we have been actively replacing these pipes with a new gas line to the laundry room, including removing old gas meters and installing new ones. Our contractor is working as quickly as possible, with completion anticipated in approximately two weeks. The exact return to service date is dependent on many factors out of our control, including Con Edison’s required inspections and activation. Students should continue to use laundry rooms in other residence halls during this time. We are providing a limited number of carts to assist with transporting laundry to other residence halls.
“We understand the frustration about the laundry dryers and other issues at the building this academic year. While we take as many preventative measures as possible, the nature of operating a building is such that mechanical issues do occur. We remain committed to providing quick responses and addressing problems with the speed and professionalism residents expect and deserve.”
While some students have shrugged off the drama, most are fed up. We received this statement from a Townhouse resident:
I understand that accidents happen and sometimes the maintenance of appliances requires inconvenient service disruptions. However I do feel like whoever is overseeing this situation needs to come up with a better solution. It is beyond unreasonable ask over 700 residents in East Campus to rely on the laundry facilities in a significantly smaller residence hall that is probably already at or close to capacity. This disruption in addition to the lack of gas stoves in the townhouses, building-wide malfunctions with the heating system on one of the coldest days of the year, and the mold incident in the early fall has turned living in EC into a nightmare.
Whether you’ve been shuttling your socks to Wien or turning them upside down and inside out, this, and the other stack of maintenance issues, blows!!!! Perhaps the residents should cart their clothes over to 600 instead, where the following parrot was spotted doing HIS laundry: