Keeping a dorm room or apartment in working order is no small task. Many apartment ailments, from leaky ceilings to broken ovens, are not residents’ fault, and resolving them drains time for students and maintenance workers. Confusion at Georgetown about who is meant to fix what and when adds inefficiency to inconvenience.

For example, there is one phone number to call for furniture issues and a different one for plumbing problems. To put in a work order, there are forms online and offline, as well as several potential telephone contacts. Attempting to report an issue often takes multiple phone calls, transfers and days or weeks of waiting.

This constant confusion must also be a source of frustration for facilities and Residence Life employees. For a service so often criticized, that is important to note. Misdirected phone calls or incorrectly filed forms lead only to more work for these understaffed departments, whose time could be better spent on other projects.

There needs to be a better vehicle for relaying information on facilities to students and university employees. Resident assistants and hall directors should be fully educated about the channels for facilities complaints so they can properly advise students on how various maintenance problems should be reported to the university.

To assist them, a diagram of some sort made by Residence Life would be the easiest way to reduce the disparity between how students think they can obtain service to their dorms and what is the advised course of action. This could be distributed to residents at the start of each academic year and could reduce the number of calls ResLife employees have to refer to different departments.

Facilities responds to housing problems, so it’s understandable that they would be the frequent subject of grumbling. Before we get into specific issues, however, the university should repair this breakdown in communication between students and staff.

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