Saturday, June 23, 2018

Townhouse residents should be notified of maintenance visits

CHANEL PALACIOS ’14

SENIOR EDITOR

 

As everyone has noticed, the construction of more townhouses is going strong, and rather quickly. However, because the schools are building the townhouses with such speed, there are always improvements to be made once they are actually inhabited. This wouldn’t be an issue if residents were given proper notice.

I don’t know of residents complaining that workers are improving the emergency lighting, or fixing the laundry machines. We’re grateful, or at least I am. There was a small power outage a couple weeks ago and half my lights stayed on. So at least I know we have back up sources in that situation.

However, residents have good reason to complain when they don’t know someone is present in their homes. For instance, over Trinity Days I was the only one in my townhouse to stay at school. I opted to stay and cover work shifts for others and to catch up on work and rest. This is the actual purpose of those days. I woke up on Tuesday morning, thinking I was home alone, and walked out of my room to use the bathroom. When I go to sleep, I use very minimal clothing, as in almost naked. This is too much information for the Trinity community, but it’s vital to the story. I do have the right to be comfortable in my home. Imagine my surprise when I found there were workers in my house. Thankfully, I live upstairs and they were downstairs, but this shouldn’t even be a possible scenario. Had I gone downstairs to get water (as I tend to do) I would have been extremely embarrassed. As it is, I was already uncomfortable finding men in my home.

This situation, and various other situations, would not have happened if the school would notify residents when construction and maintenance will be happening in their rooms. Townhouse residents are aware of the necessity for continued work, but we need to know when people are coming. A doorbell is not sufficient, considering the heavy sleepers out there.

There was notice for the first couple weeks of classes saying there would be workers going in and out, but we are now halfway through the semester. Workers haven’t been inside for about a month. I am by no means upset at the construction and maintenance workers. They were all very friendly and fun to talk to. They apologized for all the noise they had to make and apologized again when they weren’t out in time. That was ironic because I didn’t know they would be there for a certain time.

This issue should be attributed to the school. I emailed the area coordinator explaining the situation and requesting notice for all future events. I did not get a response. This is completely unacceptable.

I was not expecting an apology, because the school rarely apologizes for its mistakes, but a minimal acknowledgment of my email is common courtesy. The lack of response is disrespectful and it takes away all confidence in this school. I will never know when there are going to be people in my home. How will I, as well as other residents, know if there is a robbery in place or just routine maintenance?

The townhouses are expensive to live in, as they are supposed to be apartment style living. If we’re supposed to treat them like actual townhouses, then there should be rules on both sides. In the “real world,” landlords are required to give notice before showing up or bringing any kind of workers into the building.

Yet the residents are not given this consideration. We are still being treated as children, as individuals who don’t deserve notice, apologies, or acknowledgments. Workers come through when they please. I’m sure they are notified when they have to be inside, so why can residents not also be notified?

It really shouldn’t have come to this in any way. I do not want to have to publish an opinion piece in The Trinity Tripod just to get some kind of acknowledgment from the school every time something happens. At this rate I don’t expect any response because that would indicate a semblance of respect for students at this school. It points to a larger problem on campus. Who are residents supposed to speak to when legitimate issues arise? If the administration will ignore students, why should students trust the administration to really advocate for us?

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