The cost of attending PUC for one academic year is $35,616. Out of that large amount of money, $4,380 is allotted for dormitory fees. The combined seven dorms on campus contain 603 student rooms. This year there are 1,105 students who live in the dorms, as confirmed by PUC Student Services. That means that the combined tuition fees for all current residence hall students that were collected by PUC are approximately $4,839,900 for dorm fees alone this year.* That is the raw fiscal data and, as a student, certain implications can be extrapolated from it. I fully understand that dorms require money allotments to remain functional: electricity, water, equipment, etc. However, I cannot comprehend as to why our dorms have such lagging maintenance repair timelines.
In Grainger Hall the third floor has had a broken water fountain since the beginning of fall quarter. It has been reported to maintenance several times and alas, the residents are still parched. I am not the only student that recognizes the lack of maintenance. It has become the laughing stock of the dorm and is the landing spot for printed out memes and jokes that mock the fact that the fountain is still broken after such an extended period of time. I am not an accounting major, but I hypothesize that we can afford a new water fountain. That is just a fraction of the dorm related complaints that I hear that can be easily fixed. Should I even bring up the fact that Grainger has only one dryer that works? No, that one is fun, I love waiting in line for several hours to make sure my clothes aren’t soaked. Water fountain aside, as inconvenient as broken appliances are, there are actual safety issues in play that need to be addressed.
The morning of May 10th, freshman social work major Emilio Castillo was rushed to the emergency room because the top bunk of his bed fell through the frame and landed on his head, causing a concussion. Castillo was laying on the bottom bed when his friend shifted his weight on top and the boards slipped through the space, proceeding to crash down. Upon further examination, the bed boards that support the weight of the top bunk were too short for the frame. This means that with certain movements, disasters can and have happened because the beds have inadequate parts on them. When asked about the event, Castillo recalled the experience by saying, “No one really expects a bunk bed to fall on your head, much less in your dorm, that’s that stuff you see in movies. It was just really unlucky, you know? I’m glad it was just a mild concussion though, it could have been a lot worse.” With dangerous incidents happening that could be prevented by simple dorm upgrades, I feel the dorms need more financial attention brought to them.
I am not asking for PUC to build us new dorms, that is unrealistic and unwarranted. However, I do feel as if the exorbitant amount of money that the dorm fees amount to needs to be spent in a way that reflects the needs of the students. As students, we need to report every broken item in the dorm to maintenance, because I am aware that sometimes we see inadequacies and just complain without taking the proper steps to finding a solution. The school, on the other hand, needs to either hire more maintenance workers or prioritize fixing dorm appliances and features, because if PUC spent as much time fixing the dorms as they do planting flowers on every inch of this campus, the dorms would be in satisfactory condition.
*All financial and dorm figures were obtained from the official PUC website.