Staff editorial: Going down

The price of residence hall rooms is often much more than the cost of equitable off-campus housing, however, the University is less accountable to students than building managers are to tenants. Yet, GW neglects maintaining basic building amenities that would be expected in apartments that charge less per square foot. It is unclear where the University housing money goes – considering funding remains unavailable to fix malfunctioning elevators in several residence halls, creating a dangerous situation for students.

There has been a 35 percent increase in the number of cases of students getting stuck in failing elevators in residence halls and academic buildings – 107 cases since January. Facilities Management claims the funding is unavailable to fix these elevators, even though they list elevators as one of the biggest facility problems on campus.

A plan has been in the works for five years to fix or replace International House elevators alone. Many students opt to walk numerous flights of stairs instead of trusting the elevators – something they should not have to worry about while paying upwards of $1,700 a month between two students for a shared room. This would not be accepted in any apartment building and the University should not exploit student complacency.

There is no reason, with the University knowing for five years, that funds could not be appropriated to fix frequently malfunctioning elevators. And it is not just in the International House, which is an older building, where elevators are in need of repair. New Hall and the Hall on Virginia Avenue are relatively new acquisitions, but they are leading all residence halls with the most repair calls.

Students are getting stuck in elevators, which can drop suddenly, until University Police and often the D.C. Fire Department are called to get them out. Does the administration not realize the significance of this and the possible safety concerns of parents and students alike? Students should not need to be afraid of getting stuck in their elevator every time they come home to or leave their room.

Understanding the prospect of replacing elevators is very costly, it should be a higher priority to the University to replace something as significant as an elevator. New buildings are nice, but proper maintenance of existing facilities is imperative.

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