It’s All Here, Except For Hot Water

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Published February 6, 2019
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The Montclarion
Each room in Machuga Heights has its own bathroom. However, many residents had to find other places with warm water to shower. Rebecca Serviss | The Montclarion

Last week, most of the country was blasted with cold fronts that brought along high winds, snow squalls and subzero temperatures that left many areas covered in ice.

Commuters at Montclair State University called these ongoing conditions a nightmare as many fled campus Wednesday afternoon, hoping to beat the snow squall that shortly took place and the unsafe road hazards that were destined to come next.

For on-campus residents, problems didn’t really begin until Friday, as many shivering students who were looking forward to taking a nice warm shower after facing Montclair State’s harsh winds were greeted with another chilling surprise.

On Friday night around 10 p.m., students living in the William Gordon and Clara Barton side of Machuga Heights were alerted with an email that there had been reports from residents of no hot water in their bathrooms.

Coincidentally, this was the same area that had no heat during the notorious November snowstorm right before Thanksgiving. Many residents, including myself, believe the harsh winter weather is to blame for the outages.

While the problem was being fixed, Barton and Gordon Hall residents were suggested to find other places to shower, including the Student Recreation Center or to find a friend whose room was not affected by the outage.

I find that the issue wasn’t how the situation was handled, but the lack of communication and updates to ensure us that it was being fixed. The last update residents got on the issue was Saturday afternoon, and no one heard anything else until Monday night.

I think that, had residents gotten daily updates on the situation, it would have allowed them time to plan better instead of guessing whether or not they can shower without any interruptions.

Residents were notified around 5 p.m. Monday evening that the hot water had been restored, but when the last email sent to residents was on Saturday, it makes us feel left in the dark. As residents we don’t need to know every detail as to what happened, but we should be kept in the loop when there are issues pertaining to our living spaces.

Residents understand these kinds of problems pop up every once in a while, but it is a little disappointing when we pay over $5,000 for housing and are stuck wondering when problems like heat or hot water are expected to to be fixed. Even just a daily email that says, “We’re still working on it,” would make us feel reassured that it’s being taken care of.

Most residents are thankful for everyone who has assisted us through this issue, including Residence Life and University Facilities, but when a problem like this arises, we ask, as residents, that we are kept in the loop so we know progress is being made.

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