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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Long Waits for Work Orders

    At Stony Brook University, with a residential community of almost 10,000 students, it is fairly common for things to break and need mending. Last year, Campus Residences completed 21,439 work orders for a variety of repairs such as room damages, electrical problems, plumbing backups and flooding, and other potentially hazardous problems. However, while the university has completed a vast number of work orders in residential buildings, some students feel that Campus Residences has been slow and inefficient at resolving their problems.

    In a sample poll of 100 Stony Brook residents, students gave the work order system an efficiency rating of 6.2 on a scale of 1 to 10. While the majority of students (69%) reported that the necessary repairs were made within two weeks, 27% of students stated that their repairs were not completed for weeks or months after they had filed a work order.

    One such student is Seth Ritcey, whose suite-room window was broken last year and was not repaired for several months. ‘It broke during a storm in late October, maybe early November. The following day I placed a work order and alerted my RA that the window in the common room was shattered.

    After weeks of complaining to my RA and speaking to people in Campus Residences, who said that ‘these things take time’, I gave up’hellip;When we returned from winter break the window was still not fixed and now the screen was cut open which makes me believe that someone may have tried to get in. The total time from request to completion was I would say about two and a half months. My RA’s excuse (and this is a paraphrase) was that it’s complicated and that they needed to make the new window. It was ridiculous,’ Ritcey said.

    This is frequent problem with work orders. According to Kenneth Fehling, Director of Residential Operations in the Division of Campus Residences, a common cause for a delay in completing a work order is if necessary components or equipment for the broken item are not available off campus. In some cases, as often occurs with the older buildings, entire items must be replaced. For example, some light fixtures in Toscanini College in Tabler Quad may need to be replaced because their missing covers are no longer manufactured.

    Thus, like the 4% of students who reported that their work orders were not completed during their occupancy, some Toscanini residents will still not have light covers by the end of the school year. Toscanini College is scheduled for renovation in the summer of 2008.

    Despite this obstacle, the university is attempting to make the work order system run as smoothly as possible. One great aid to this is the Campus Residences web site, which allows students to file work order requests online. As the web site indicates, Campus Residences divides work orders according to urgency.

    Emergencies, which include plumbing backups and floods, electrical problems, pest infestations, lost keys and ID card issues, are considered high priority problems and are usually addressed within two days. To report such problems, students should contact their quad office immediately. Routine problems, which include broken furniture, room damage, carpet or curtain problems, light bulb replacements, and air conditioning repairs, should be reported via the web site and are usually addressed within two weeks. Many students consider the online work order request form to be a great expedient. Student Robyn Panciocco said, ‘It’s a helpful website. It allows students to submit requests for repairs immediately. It also outlines the differences between routine and emergency work orders, which is very informative. Overall
    it makes the process as efficient as possible’.

    According to Campus Residences, the average completion time for routine work orders last year was 16 days. While this duration is indeed longer than two weeks-the time that work orders should take to be completed-the university is dedicated to improving the timeliness of the work order system.

    According to Ken Fehling, ‘we are constantly striving to decrease the average time it takes to address routine work orders. Our goal is reduce the average completion time to less than two weeks.’ In the meantime, Fehling advises students to report problems immediately and to follow up on the status of their work orders in order to ensure that their problems are addressed quickly and effectively.

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