Hall on Virginia Avenue residents protest aging building

When first-year nursing student Amy Zhang turns on her shower, the water flows out yellow.

“I put in a request for FIXit a month ago and there’s nothing,” the Hall on Virginia Avenue resident said.

A group of residents are signing a petition to improve what they call “poor living conditions” at the 46-year-old graduate residence hall across from the Watergate complex. Problems include rodent infestations and hole-filled walls, Zhang said.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said FIXit employees have been working overtime across all residence halls after receiving the typical influx of requests for attention after move in.

“All tickets are responded to as promptly as possible with the goal of alleviating the problem and those issues that are categorized with ’emergency status’ receive attention within 24 hours,” Sherrard said.

First-year graduate student D’Juan Thomas said his room is facing an escalating mouse problem. FIXit came two days after he put in a request, he said, adding that he spoke with previous HOVA residents who said pests were a recurring problem in the building.

“If I’m paying $5,365 a semester for housing, I would at least like to live in peace,” he said.

FIXit saw an increase in the number of rodent and pest issues reported for HOVA this year compared to the same time frame last year, Sherrard said, attributing the uptick to “building work being done in the dumpster area,” increased rainfall and temperatures cooling earlier than usual this semester.

“These have been responded to with an aggressive treatment,” she said. “We are aware that there was an air-conditioning problem in the building in early September – it was reported by residents, and the issue was resolved promptly upon being reported.”

Sherrard said the total number of FIXit requests for HOVA is on par for the building in previous years, and are expected from a structure as old as HOVA but said she was unable to provide the number of FIXit requests received for HOVA.

She added that the University was not aware HOVA residents are circulating a petition.

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