South Hall elevator outages are an ‘annoyance’ for residents

Media Credit: Jillian DiPersio | Hatchet Photographer

Residents living in South Hall have complained of multiple problems with the elevators over the course of the semester.

What goes up must come down – except in South Hall, students say.

Four seniors living in the upperclassmen building, one of GW’s newest and most expensive residence halls, said they have been experiencing problems with the elevators breaking down. With workers repairing at least one of the elevators last week, the University is still trying to fix the elevators, while seniors are still complaining about the inconvenience the outages cause in the nine-story building.

Senior Kenneth Hoffman, who lives in South Hall, said in an email that he has seen elevator repair employees working on the elevators this semester but there have been times where more than one of the building’s three elevators have broken down and he has not seen anyone fixing them.

He added that he worries about students who have asthma or other health concerns that could impact their ability to climb the stairs.

“For most of us, it’s just an annoyance,” he said. “But hell, have you ever seen drunk college students try to scale 10 flights of stairs? It’s not pretty.”

University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said in an email that GW is “working expeditiously” to fix the problem. He declined to say how many times the elevators needed to be fixed in the residence hall this semester or what kind of repairs needed to be made each time.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and hope to have a solution as soon as possible,” Hiatt said. “In the meantime, we are working to minimize disruptions to service as much as possible.”

Representatives from the company that has been repairing South Hall’s elevators, Elcon Enterprises, did not respond to requests for comment. Repairmen who were working on the elevators last week declined to comment on the issues or what repairs were being made on the elevators.

Mike Massaroli, the president of the Residence Hall Association, said he has gotten complaints from seniors living in South Hall who he said are “justifiably frustrated.” He said he trusts the University to fix the problem.

“People shouldn’t have to expect to walk up to the seventh floor every time,” he said. “It is imperative that they get the problem and work to solve it.”

Students first complained about the elevators in the spring semester of 2010, when the elevators would stop working and several students reported to being trapped in them at the time, which was less than a year after the building was completed.

Two years ago, at least 71 people were trapped in elevators in GW residence halls in at least 30 incidents.

Senior Mehreen Arif, who lives on the sixth floor of the building, said she has seen people on crutches and elderly grandparents visiting students having to take the stairs due to the long wait times for the elevators.

She added that the elevators have been a problem since she moved in, but that she has only seen workers fixing the elevators three times this year, other than the times when people were trapped in the elevators.

“It’s just an inconvenience that has become a nuisance,” she said.

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