Recent data reveals decrease in maintenance requests while a Resident Assistant remains active.
By: Olivia Walters, News Editor
Ron Thompson, Director of Housing and Residence, answered questions about rumored increases in bug sightings.
2017 maintenance reports
Q: Have there been an increase in maintenance requests this academic year (please explain the nature of them, the # of incidents, etc.)?
A: This year, the number of maintenance requests for North Village has decreased. From opening weekend through Oct. 15th, we received 363 maintenance requests, as compared to 540 during the same period in 2016-17. For Lakeside Housing, we received 93 requests, as compared to 185 in 2016-17. The data for South Housing is incomplete at this time.
This data includes all maintenance requests, including plumbing, electrical, property maintenance, or any sort of other specific need that a student submits (bed adjustments, blind replacement etc.).
Furman’s outside contractor
Q: Students are noticing an alarming number of bugs in North Village, notably cockroaches, spiders, grasshoppers, and other creatures. Why is this the case? (RAs have already urged residents to keep trash indoors, but the problem persists).
A: This observation has not been shared with us. In fact, the data does not reflect an increase in the number of pest problems reported in any area. Our pest control contractor has been working to complete perimeter treatments and ground level preventative sprays around the North Village buildings. We encourage students to remove their trash and take it to the dumpster as often as possible. I would not recommend keeping trash indoors any longer than necessary.
Q: Please explain the policy when it comes to spraying for bugs. Sometimes students make maintenance requests, but they are not always addressed.
A: After a student submits a maintenance request, Housing and Residence Life responds on-site to evaluate the reported concern. Typically, we respond the same day. If we are unable to respond that day, we will respond the following day. If our evaluation of the room/apartment suggests that treatment is necessary, we will spray the space with a pest control product that does not require a license to dispense, as recommended by our contract pest control contractor. After doing so, we will then send a work order to Facilities Services for Gregory’s Pest Control to re-evaluate the space and treat it again. The company comes to campus at least once per week, and is available to come more often at our request.
Q: Do you have suggestions for students with bugs in their apartment/dorm?
A: Yes, we do have suggestions for students who see evidence of insects. When a student sees insects in their room, they should complete an online maintenance request immediately. This allows us to dispatch a technician to prevent it from becoming a larger issue. Additionally, we also suggest students keep their apartment as clean as possible. Removing trash in a timely manner goes a long way to keeping a room or apartment pest-free.
The RA protocol
After this interview, Dina Estrada ‘18, Resident Assistant (RA) for North Village Building A, commented on the situation. Once residents come to her with a bug concern, she first advises them to make a maintenance request, and then reminds them to keep their living area clean.
Estrada has worked as an RA since the beginning of this semester. “We’re thankful that they come in and spray the apartments and surrounding areas, but many times that doesn’t do the trick.” Estrada can only do so much to encourage residents to stay tidy. She is nonetheless grateful for Housing’s engagement: “I know they don’t disregard students’ bug concerns, as they actively try and find ways to deal with the issue.”
Estrada mentioned that she has not seen many bugs as some students have suggested, but she hopes not to because “it just makes our space look unsanitary.”