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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


The Tao of Lingering Work Orders

Problems in college dormitories are about as common as complaints about the food; to be expected on colleges campuses. In Stony Brook University dormitories, students can file work orders for maintenance or repair work online, by phone or by notifying a campus worker. The system is technologically advanced, but sometimes the repairs are slow-going.

Ron Mahnert, a sophomore psychology major, filed a work order in January for his stuck window. At first the window in his suite room in Kelly Quad wouldn’t close. He filed a work order online, and a worker came within a few days. “They were pretty quick about getting it fixed – closing it,” Mahnert said. The window was closed, but then Mahnert couldn’t open it again  – a problem with the warmer temperatures.

The university is aware that the window is not completely  fixed and has said they would be coming back.

Mahnert hasn’t filed another report, as the Campus Residences Web site advises against filing multiple work orders for the same issue. “It hasn’t happened,” Mahnert said of the pending repair. His work order status on the Web site is listed as pending.

He and his roommate keep the door open to try and get cooler air. The room being situated above the boiler room doesn’t help contribute to a cooler room. How do they handle the heat? “By sweating a lot.”

Junior Richard Stein, a linguistics and sociology major, lives in Douglass College in Tabler Quad. “I didn’t have any hot water in the morning, everyday,” he said. “In the afternoon, it would start getting warmer.”

For Stein, who wakes up between 7 and 8 a.m. everyday to work at his on-campus job, a warm shower is a necessity. From October 2009 to Feb. 2010, Stein filed multiple work orders, both online and through the emergency work orders telephone line.

Stein saw someone come to fix it at least four separate times. Once, he was told he was turning on the shower improperly. Another, they came in the afternoon, when the problem wasn’t evident.

Eventually, it was deemed a plumbing issue that could not be fixed while school was in session, and Stein was moved to a different room in Douglass. “They did it, not to get me to stop complaining, but as a means of making my daily life easier,” Stein said of the room switch, which occurred at the end of February after he had called the emergency work order phone number again.

On the work orders section of the Campus Residences website, ‘No heat or hot water’ is listed as an emergency. The website states: “Emergencies are usually addressed that day.” John Sparano the director of Campus Residences operations said, “There really is no reason why we would have to wait that long, unless a heat exchanger needed to be exchanged, but even that should be addressed within a day.”

“They try to address it as soon as they can,” said Amber Hampson, a resident assistant in Dreiser College, also in Tabler Quad, said of the maintenance and repair staff. Hampson acknowledged the miscommunications that can occur in an electronic system, like if students file requests in the wrong category, or file multiple reports on the same issue. The website tells students not to file multiple orders, because it will not speed up the process.

“From my perspective, it does run pretty smoothly,” Hampson said of the system concerning work orders. The technology of filing work requests online allows students to skip the trouble of seeking out the resident assistant or resident housing director. “We know not everyone knows how to put in a work order.”

Sparano said every work order goes through MP2, the university’s maintenance management system.. “We funnel everything through this process,” Sparano said. The system will note when a repair is scheduled, and when the issue has been considered “closed out.”

Hampson advised that students should file work orders online, as well as telling their resident assistants, to help expedite the process. “Put in a work order and let your RA know,” Hampson said. “That way we know what’s going on.”

Hampson and Sparano both advised students to reach out to their resident assistant or the Quad Office if an issue is not being resolved. “We have so many resources to help people out with,” Sparano said, adding that resident should seek out the quad’s service manager if an issue persists. “They’re the greatest person to talk to, and they call me all the time,” Sparano said.

As for Richard Stein’s shower now? “This one, oh my God, it’s wonderful,” Stein said. “It’s hot water, all day long!”

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