It can be maddening living in the dorms. Dealing with power-hungry security, pointless floor meetings and, in some cases, RAs who have not been in college as long as you, but in the end (now that I live in a wet dorm) it is not too terrible. It definitely beats freezing, dealing with leaking bathrooms not getting fixed for weeks or maniacal security (always much worse).
A friend of mine lives in an apartment in College Towers, which is a good apartment building for students because it is about a two-minute walk from campus. At the same time, it is a bad apartment building because so many students live there, and management does not seem to care about their tenants because there isn’t a lack of a market – students are always looking to escape to one of the closest apartment buildings to campus.
The biggest problem when I hang out at her apartment is the “free heat.” Residents do not pay gas, and to a college student, free is always nice, but residents cannot control the level of heat in their rooms. A few weeks ago, the temperature was in the lower 50s and got so cold my friend spent a few nights in my dorm room instead of slowly becoming a human Popsicle. It got to the point where I was not too surprised to hang out in her apartment with the oven door open and turned all the way up in an attempt to warm the room.
Although some of the rooms have been renovated, not all of them were. Roughly a month ago, the shower above my friend’s was leaking into theirs, and she was given a key so she could shower in one of the rooms they show to potential customers. I was watching TV when she went to shower, and in five minutes she was back – wide-eyed. The showroom was immaculate – it also looked nothing like the room she currently lives in.
The maintenance man who came to fix the leak put his finger on the leaking water spot and part of the ceiling fell into the empty tub. “That’s not good,” he said. When the leak was finally fixed, it was not much more than a patch over the spot. I am not a carpenter nor a plumber, but I am pretty sure when the ceiling is that damaged by mere touch, more than a patch needs to be used to fix the problem. An e-mail sent to College Towers management asking how much time it took on average to fix problems went unanswered.
The Daily Kent Stater has reported before on the apartment complex’s heating issues and the uncooperative management. As of now, the building is not much different from the dorms (other than the indoor pool and weight room); it even has security. While I am sure some are nice, an incident happened while I was there with some friends. The security guard got verbally abusive with one of the guests because he closed the door quickly after agreeing to turn down the music.
I realize we are students, but does that mean we have to live in poor conditions? Is our money not worth as much as non-students who get better treatment at places such as Indian Valley? We should not be treated any better, but in no way should we be disrespected or just another dollar sign.
As for my friend, at least the girl who works the emergency repair phone number in College Towers knows her by her name.
Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism
major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]