An average of 3,000 dorm maintenance requests are submitted by students each school year, according to Dusty Miller, the supervisor for small maintenance needs in the residence halls and Village at Southern.
Maintenance is the campus’ first wave of defense when it comes to addressing physical problems in the dorms. Ranging from six to eight student workers, the department focuses on small repairs that include door lock issues, room furniture and basic AC repairs. When a request is too complicated for groups, it is referred to Plant Services, which focuses on the larger maintenance issues on campus such as plumbing, electrical and larger AC units.
Brayden Viehmann, a former maintenance worker and current senior construction management major remembers the stress of handling so many requests.
“From my three years of working for the Maintenance Department, it’s part-time people trying to complete full-time jobs,” Viehmann said. “There would be times where we [would] come into work for the day, for our little two-hour shift or as much as we can, log onto the computer and [there would be] 100 plus work orders. It gets intense over there.”
Viehmann said maintenance devised a level of importance from high to low priorities to deal with the flood of requests.
Elizabeth Dresser, a Southern Village resident who has experienced various maintenance needs over the course of this semester, ranging from AC malfunctions, a broken window and a broken freezer, approves of the priority list.
“There is a certain level of a priority,” Dresser said. “If someone’s AC unit goes out, please fix that before you fix my window. I will live with a broken window, but they need their AC.”
Some students, such as Elena Holway, only agreed with the levels priority to some extent.
“Yeah, but also it shouldn’t take six months [to fix stuff],” Holway said. “There should be somewhere in between. This is a lower priority. But, at some point, it seems like it should become a priority, ‘cause if that many high priority things are happening, then that’s an issue on the other side; or maybe they didn’t fix it properly before or maybe they should consider replacing things rather than just updating them.”
According to Viehmann, the number of maintenance workers has grown slightly to accommodate the needs. There were only six student workers last year and this year the maintenance department has grown to have 10 student workers.
“Luckily, they’ve increased the amount of staff that they have working for them; so they’re staying more on top of it for sure… But I understand from a student’s perspective, it’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, it takes [maintenance] a long time to get my stuff fixed.’ But from actually working for [Miller] for a while, I understand that there’s a lot you have to do,” Viehmann said.