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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Students voice frustrations of faults in new dorm

The sign identifying the former Wild Commons has been removed.

Sophie Murray, a freshman in the College of Communication, said she was thrilled when she found out she would be living in the new residence hall, The Commons.  

“I thought it would be perfect, honestly,” Murray said.

However, her excitement quickly faded when she said she started to experience issues in the new residence hall. She said the issues are hard to describe.

“I am paying more for my dorm than the students in other dorms, and it’s really difficult to have all of these issues that come along with it,” Murray said. 

Murray said she experienced paint chipping off the walls from applying Command strips, elevators under maintenance, cold water in showers, a dysfunctional laundry room and an unorganized mailroom.  

Other residents voiced similar concerns.

Raul Rueda Garcia Luna, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said one of the showers closest to his room only has cold water.  He said the automatic lights in the bathroom take nearly five minutes to turn on.

“I was excited to be in the new dorm because I had seen how nice it was going to be,” Rueda said. “I didn’t really know what to expect.”

Elizabeth Egbers, a freshman in the College of Engineering, said she can never get her packages on time.

“I feel bad for the people working there, but they have a bad system for organizing packages,” Egbers said.

Egbers said she thinks the dorm opened too early, but believes it was necessary at the time.  

“As long as there is a place to live for everyone, they can fix the bugs when we’re in here,”Egbers said.

The mailroom cluttered with packages that have yet to be sorted and distributed to students due to incorrect mailboxes keys.
Photo courtesy of Alex Garner.

Rick Arcuri, executive director of student affairs operations, said the mailroom was delayed because the facilities manager in the building discovered the company that made the mailboxes keyed a number of them the same way.

“We did not want to risk having people be able to open multiple mailboxes with one key so we waited until the company was able to correct the problem,” Arcuri said.  

Arcuri said the university is in the process of issuing mail keys to residents.   

Claire Coonan, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, said the lack of keys in the mailroom is annoying.

“But as far as I’m concerned, it’s temporary and we will have them eventually,” Coonan said.

“Eight-hundred ninety residents moving in are bound to find things that need to be adjusted and tweaked to meet students’ needs,” Arcuri said. Items that are not complete at this time are fairly normal for a project of this size, he said.

Recently, students were unable to use a series of laundry machines due to laundry pods getting stuck in the liquid detergent dispenser, a problem that Mary Janz, executive director of housing and residence life, said in an email are “growing pains” all new buildings experience.

“In any new building, there are small things that you uncover as it begins to be used.  This is simply not out of the ordinary,” Janz said.

Along with the broken machines, students were unable to use the card swipe kiosk to pay for laundry with MarquetteCASH, instead having to get quarters from a change machine in the lobby of the residence hall, 7-Eleven or Walgreens, a situation Egbers said she is frustrated with.

Arcuri said laundry machines are routinely among the last items to be installed on a project. Card swipe access was only installed mid-September. after getting the proper harnesses to mount them on the wall because they are not put on shelves, Arcuri said. 

Card swipe machine where students can use MarquetteCASH for laundry, will be installed in mid Sept. Photo courtesy of Alex Garner.

Arcuri said some things, like the laundry technology, are frustrating but the university is working hard to correct them and get everything settled.

Planning The Commons started with the university’s master plan, when serves as a road map for capital projects for the next 10-20 years.  Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and facilities management, said in an email a new residence hall was identified as a top priority for campus during the planning effort.

“The planning and design process involves intense work to gather programmatic information, prioritize what becomes part of the final program and develop and refine design concepts.”  

Strigens said university officials were mindful of the overall campus system and how work needs to be done to support campus infrastructure when undertaking projects.

The planning for The Commons began in early 2016, Strigens said.  With a project of that scale, construction often takes 24 months or more, Strigens said.  

However, The Commons took only 22 months to construct.  From concept to completion, the total time was in the range of two and half years.   

“The Commons moved quickly so that we would have it online for students in fall of 2018,” Strigens said.

“The natural deadline is arrival day,” Arcuri said.  “We knew we had to have students move in in August. We start from that date and go backwards.”

Beyond the laundry room and mail room problems, students have been experiencing water leaks on the eighth floor of Wells St. Hall.  

Katie Willis, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, said she is angry because of the water leak.

“They do not know what it is and what is causing the leak at the moment.  The guys said, ‘Call me when the leak comes back,” Willis said.  Willis said she thinks the university maintenance workers  do not want to put a hole in the wall.

Water collects to the right of the caution sign from a leak on the eighth floor of Wells St. Hall.
Photo courtesy of Natallie St. Onge

Arcuri said now that students are standing in those showers and running the water, it’s moving the floor.  

“Now, we are finding where we need to add caulking to make sure that that’s not coming out,” he said.

Arcuri said the university surveyed every bathroom in both buildings.  He said it’s part of the overarching plan and he said what the university is doing is all normal.

“We knew going in that there would be workmen on site while students were in the building. It’s not a surprise to us that they’re there,” Arcuri said.

Strigens said for a project of this scale, they facilitate a process to partner with a design and construction team.   

“I would describe the effort throughout the process as highly collaborative, both with the consultants and campus, as well as with the outreach and engagement with the campus community,” Strigens said. 

Arcuri said the feedback received about The Commons has otherwise been overwhelmingly positive, and he said people seem to be very excited about the impact it has on campus life.

Sophomore Alex Celis in the College of Communication said The Commons is like a hotel.

“I expected something completely different than all the other dorms since it’s new. It’s above what I expected,” Celis said.

Arcuri said the university will continue to work on items that need to be adjusted as students become more accustomed to the building.






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    AlexSep 12, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Is this an article from The Onion?