Immediate gratification is something that unfortunately defines Americans. Fast food, ATM machines and high-speed internet are no longer novelties, but necessities. At West Chester University, things are no different. However, when real necessities like running water, properly-functioning electrical units and even our path to Lawrence are tampered with, it places a huge damper on our own ways to function, and therefore, create an obstruction.It is no secret that the eight residences from those on North campus to the South Campus apartments, need renovation. So, the University has begun efforts to eventually demolish five of these buildings and replace them with brand spankin’ new ones. Out with the old, in with the new. The work order report from the Fall 2007 semester indicated that 2, 915 work requests were sent in to the Residence Hall Maintenance Department according to Foreman Guy Merrill. These, according to Merrill, were all completed. The repairs, which ranged from broken light fixtures, sinks and windows to vandalism were reported from the eight residence halls on North Campus and the South Campus Apartments (not the Village). However, some of these problems require additional help. For instance, Tyson Hall experienced a busted gasket last semester. McCarthy Hall experienced a water main failure just last week. As of Jan. 14, 2008, 261 more work requests have been created, and as of Jan. 28, only 16 of those need to be repaired. The turnaround time for attending to these requests is impressive. Nevertheless, these work requests are encouraged to be completed online, and Facilities will therefore determine which department will inspect it based upon necessity. This idea of necessity once again comes into play. Hmm. Does a light fixture that falls from your ceiling at 7 a.m. yielding broken pieces across the room warrant necessity? Is having running water characteristic of necessity?
The construction that is underway on Hollinger Field, which is reported to be completed as of Aug. 1, 2009, is not under the same jurisdiction as that of the eight residence halls found on North Campus and South Campus. These buildings dubbed “Dormitory A” and “Dormitory B” are not even constructed, but they are attracting a lot of attention. The bright side is that if you hate the sound of your alarm clock, then you can finally deep-six it due to the promptness of 7 a.m. reversing vehicles, jack hammering and other sounds of construction. The irony of the situation rests in this idea: six days a week we see construction for future residents. Meanwhile we have to rearrange our schedules because we cannot take showers or turn on our lights because of the fear that the incessant buzzing sounds may either cause cracks in the ceiling or cracks in our sanity or furthermore, pull on the door handles too hard because they may fall off. The University has come to the rescue. “Demolish the old dorms and build suites-very expensive suites.” This, however, does not have to be the only solution. The real remedy to these minor problems experienced in the residence halls could be enacted with permanent solutions-better materials, such as light fixtures that don’t just pop in, but maybe ones that screw in. Instead focusing our energies on the construction that is causing more of an obstruction, the energy needs to put into the already existing residence halls that still house residents.
Building the University to its fullest potential would be encouraged, but priorities should be focused on the residents who are currently paying for reasonable, usable living conditions.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. But if it is, let’s work on it.