The reopening of the university village welcomes residents with maintenance and political problems

By Aaliyah Murillo, September 21, 2021

As Cal Poly Pomona resumed classes in person this semester, many students were eager to get closer to campus, especially in the University Village apartments across the street; however, some residents expressed frustration with the new policies and the lack of maintenance.

After a year and a half of inactivity, the University Village apartments, currently operating at 75% of their capacity and housing 981 students, are facing problems of infestation, broken appliances and broken equipment as the influx of work orders delayed the speed of repairs.

Jared Ceja, Executive Director and CEO of Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, explained that many maintenance issues are caused by buildings dormant during virtual training, when air conditioning and water were turned off in all vacant buildings. to reduce costs and avoid leaks. Now, as the buildings are repopulated, more and more maintenance issues have arisen.

“Buildings are not made to sleep for a year and a half. When you’re inactive for so long, a lot of things strike at the same time, ”Ceja said.

Still, Ceja added that he is aware of the issues and works to resolve them.

First-time resident psychology student Destiny Castaneda requested an early move-in date and was greeted with an unpleasant odor.

“As soon as I opened the front door of the apartment, everything smelled of cigarettes; the whole place smelled horribly, ”Castaneda said. “It was unbearable. I had to open all the windows… (and) go buy some air fresheners from Target.

Castaneda has confirmed that she pays $ 997 per month for rent in addition to a $ 300 one-time utility fee, $ 175 non-refundable installation fee, and other $ 50 non-refundable application fee. She also experienced a lack of communication of due dates for fees and how to pay them online.

Visual communications student Melody Bando found a dead cockroach on her desk on her move-in date and believes no one came to check the rooms before the residents moved in.

Second time resident sociology student Mara Atchason had a broken toilet, doorknob, and blinds that weren’t working properly.

“My toilet also broke the other year,” Atchason recalls. “When I moved in (this year), I didn’t know it was broken, and a random maintenance technician came by, and we didn’t even have a work order or anything.”

Atchason was informed that there were not enough repair workers available for the number of incoming work orders. This caused delays for residents as the administration prioritized the most critical repairs.

Atchason joked about how residents could speed up work orders: “Oh, just tell them your hose broke and they’ll come fix it right away. “

Ceja responded to residents’ maintenance concerns by saying, “Regarding the challenges of getting the building back into service after such a long period of outage, I ask for a little patience and I apologize. “

In addition to maintenance issues, the COVID-19 policies in place at the University Village have also prompted some student complaints.

Residents in this semester are required to purchase a meal plan in case a resident contracts COVID-19 and needs to self-isolate, Ceja explained. With a meal plan, the University Village can prepare and deliver food to the resident’s door.

However, some residents like Castaneda find the requirement unnecessary.

“I find that a bit ridiculous,” Castaneda said. “If you have your own kitchen and you have to buy your own food, why bother buying a meal plan at this point? “

Bando paid for the lowest meal plan fare, which starts at $ 375 per semester.

“It’s for the possibility that if you catch COVID and have to stay indoors for a week,” Bando said. “But still, I don’t think it was necessary to have a meal plan.”

Bando, in her final year at CPP, expected to have a different experience at the University Village where her friends could come to her apartment to spend time with her. However, with the implementation of a new no-guest policy to limit the spread of cases, this has not been possible.

“We are paying so much, and I would like to have at least a few visits from people,” Bando said. “It really sucks for this whole COVID situation. “

“It’s a little more lonely or sad,” Bando added. “But I mean it’s okay, you know?” “

For Castaneda, the problems she encountered outweighed the benefits of living in the University Village. She added, “It’s nice to be close to campus, but it’s not worth it, personally.

Featured Image By Aaliyah Murillo

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