500 Words At A Time: Living On Campus I

Being an adult living on a college campus is a special version of torture. Yes, I said torture. I cannot speak for living in the dorms here, but I can speak with 4.5 years of experience about moving into and living in “family housing.”

Living in on campus housing is NOT the same as living in an apartment complex; at least not at Ferris State University. “Family housing” was advertised as a place near campus for families, defined as married couples and married couples with children. “Family housing” had quiet hours to accommodate those families with children.

Unfortunately, “family housing” quickly saw non-families moving in and entire families moving in. Both of these lead to problems with quiet hours among other issues. However, before I get to there, let me start when we first moved in. Our apartment was not supposed to be ours. Another family took one look at it and took the place we were supposed to move into. Thus, we got this place.

From day one, we have been dealing with the following:

  • Windows that do not seal, air leaks through the windows all times of the year regardless of window open or locked closed.
  • Mold and flying insects. Mold grows around all of the windows and doors. Only a thorough bleaching put a stop the mold. Each summer bugs fly out of the windows and each winter they go away.
  • The front door had gaps big enough that you could see outside. Did not lock during the winter without a lot of work, and froze on the inside of the house.
  • The heat, was non-existent during the winter, as noted above the door froze on the inside and the windows froze over as well.
  • During the summer the only relief from the heat was a house fan, a giant fan that sucked air from the outside in. This fan also sucked air from neighboring apartments, which is how we learned our newest neighbor smokes some really bad weed.
  • The oven does not heat properly, off temperature by 25 to 35 degrees. One set of burners produced less heat than the other two.
  • The old refrigerator…lets just say for the first couple of years had a hard time keeping milk cold in the freezer.
  • The washers and dryers worked sporatically at best.

Before you say, “Why didn’t you call these things in?” We did for the first couple of years, but it became obvious that not much was going to happen in a timely fashion. From talking to neighbors this was/is a common theme here. It took four years to get a new front door, that due to how and when it was installed, has the same problems as the original. We did get a new refrigerator, but it too has issues. Same with the new washer and dryer. The only thing that has worked as planned was the new furnace.

An apartment complex has a manager. The manager takes all maintenance requests and files them away for the maintenance workers. The manager also deals with all resident issues. When the manager does not, the manager’s boss hears about the issues. The manager also has the authority to deal with resident issues in a timely and if necessary final fashion.

Not here, we have had five different managers in five years. The first was a student who spent most of his time drunk and could care less. The second manager was an adult with a family and quickly got things in shape around here, unfortunately the manager had personality issues and then financial issues. The third manager, left before taking “office.” The fourth manager, thought that being manager meant that they were special and attempted to lord the “power” over the residents. Now we have a fifth manager, who I have only seen hanging out with friends and family.

The rotating door of managers means that nothing gets done here in the court, which may explain the lengthy repair process. Worse that than, they have little authority to do anything other than file a report which then goes through the Ferris State Housing bureaucracy, suffice to say most problems resolve themselves because the problem moved on or was forgotten about.

Of course there is more, but that will be another 500 Words. 🙂

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