Work Maintenance Woes

By: Will Pitts

For the entire student body, especially upperclassmen, it seems that Goucher College is in a constant state of chaos: the main highway that connects the school together is dominated by building construction, there’s a brand-new dormitory, and plans for more in the coming decades, the post office and the Passport Café have both moved to new temporary locations, the school curriculum and the mascot have changed. Almost the only constant on campus these days is the non-functioning Pepsi machine in the Athenaeum.

But for all these changes and concerns, there is a pressing issue lurking in the background; one that most students haven’t come face-to-face with yet.

On the Goucher website, students are able to submit work orders to Facilities and Management Services through an online ticket system. It’s the recommended course of action if students run into a problem with their housing, such as faulty electrics, leaks in the ceiling, or pest problems. However, students have reported that over the past few months that FMS has not responded to their requests for maintenance.

This Goucher Eye writer reports having an overhead light in his dorm room burn out back in December. Sometime over the winter break, an inspector went through the room and left a checklist on he doorknob but neglected to change the light. Since then, this reporter has tried multiple times to call FMS directly to solve the problem. On some occasions, this reporter only received a busy signal. On one other occasion, this reporter got through to a receptionist who told him that she had submitted a work order, and was sure the problem would be dealt with. One month later, the light is still not replaced.

Kyle Kihn, a Residential Assistant on the first floor of Jeffery House in Heubeck Hall, is also having issues. According to Kihn, he has sent multiple unsuccessful work requests to FMS to send somebody to clean the bathroom on his floor. Eventually, he had to go through his direct supervisor to find assistance.

It’s not just students feeling this frustration. Professor David Zurawik, this reporter’s professor, said that he has been trying to get FMS to fix a faulty window shade in the Communications department lounge in the Van Meter building. So far, he has had no luck.

Terence McCann, the Director of Facilities and Management Services, put forth one theory for the recent missed calls. “We have a few folks who have retired, and so we’ll hire folks to come in, but…we need to hire those individuals back into the facilities organization,” said McCann. “Right now, we’re a few people down.”

McCann also admitted to other problems within the system. “The work order system that we have in place right now doesn’t really communicate the way we would like,” he said. He went on to explain that there is no way for maintenance to automatically notify students or faculty if they will be unable to carry out an order for any reason.

Those with questions about missed work orders can call 410-337-6166 from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm on weekdays, or send an e-mail to fmsworkrequests@goucher.edu.

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