Editor’s word: Feb. 26, 2014

On the front page of this edition of the Journal, one of our staff writers looked into ongoing maintenance issues in the dorms around campus. This staff editorial is not going to point fingers at anyone, but these kinds of problems in all three dorm buildings have been an issue for as long as our senior editors have been around. It is clear this is not an isolated issue just popping up this semester or even this year.

In this week’s article, Haley Peabody talked with Facilities Director Jim Wallace as well as dorm residents to discuss the more recent maintenance issues. Suffolk ResLife did not respond to her interview requests. Our staff feels that there is an obvious miscommunication between these three groups of people who have been going on for some time. If Wallace and facilities tell ResLife that maintenance will be occurring on elevators, resident assistants should tell students on their floors. If students have heating or air conditioning problems in their rooms, they should tell resident assistants and reach out to facilities. There just needs to be more communication about these kind of problems between all three parties so nobody is wrongly blamed or uninformed.

Probably the best way to initiate this first step would be for facilities and ResLife to host events at 10 West, 150 Tremont and Miller Hall so students in those buildings can voice concerns. This would also give both ResLife and facilities a chance to explain their respective roles in communicating to students regarding building problems and maintenance. A similar event happened about two years ago when Sodexo held events at the dorms to get students’ input on menu changes, concerns or new ideas.

An open forum type of event would clear the air about what goes into maintaining and fixing dorm building problems. It would also allow facilities to understand how it affects the students who call these buildings their home. An open dialogue between these three parties would likely lessen confusion and ease tension in each on-campus community.