Sometimes students just have to deal with it

Whitworth’s Facilities Services keeps the campus running.

Gian Mitchell, 3/8/16

According to Whitworth’s website, students can expect to pay $51,732 for the 2016–2017 academic year without any financial aid. Despite one’s expectations, there are no pet dragons or unicorn rides included in that price, so it’s no surprise when students have high expectations of Whitworth. Students expect working facilities at all times and lightning fast repairs whenever their dorm needs them.

That expectation can lead to frustration when it isn’t met. For example, Shalom’s dryer hasn’t been working for more than a week now, and residents are starting to get upset. “I know Stewart has a dryer, but I hate having to haul my laundry all the way over there,” said Eddie Ventura, resident of Shalom. Their frustration is aimed at Facilities Services, but few students are actually aware of Facilities Services responsibilities.

For starters, Whitworth’s Facilities Services guide specifically states that “Cozzetto’s Laundry Service maintenance” isn’t one of their responsibilities. Basically every other kind of maintenance besides tech support is their responsibility though. This leads to a huge volume of work requests; as Facilities Services student office worker Kelsey Jerome put it, “I would think that sometimes we get 20 a day.” Jerome said requests ranging from moving chairs and shutting off sprinklers is a work order.

In regards to building and dorm work orders, it’s a system in place based off urgency. “If it’s a call in, and it’s urgent I give it to Dick, and then he dispatches somebody. Those probably happen once every couple of weeks,” said Jerome. Examples of urgent calls include emergencies like broken pipes, flooding faucets or power outages. For more mundane cases, such as a broken desk or chipped paint, “Usually RAs or professors or faculty and staff will just submit a work order and then it will just go into our system.”

Why’s your repair taking so long?

So what about students that have waited weeks for a low priority fix? Rather than a lack of employees or a backlog, “Sometimes work orders that take a little longer are because we need to order parts,” said Jerome. All a student can do is have patience in a case like this.

High expectations are important for keeping a university on it’s toes, but sometimes students must temper those expectations with reality. Just as there are no pet dragons included with Whitworth’s tuition, there’s no such thing as a repairman that magically fixes everything in an instant.

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