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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Rains generous, Facilities not so much

Published: March 19, 2010
Section: Editorials

Dear Brandeis Facilities,

Thank you for hiring a cleaning crew to shampoo carpets Tuesday afternoon.

After the long weekend of students’ suffering in mold-infested, humid, wet and smelly rooms, this board is glad you could help.

You are going to charge next year’s residents approximately $6,314 to live in a standard double next year (which previously cost $6,070 per year), so we would assume it would make financial sense for you to clean up the place.

When students applied to Brandeis, they were encouraged by the great academic opportunities the school has to offer. If they knew they would have to deal with a leak in their dorm rooms for four days without any maintenance help, they may have reconsidered.

They did everything right, or so they thought. Saturday night when rooms began to get wet, students immediately put in  work orders. They laid paper towels down on the carpet, thinking they would soak in the water.

It wasn’t enough. The water kept flowing and flowing and by Sunday night, students were wrecks. Students moved their beds out of the way, and had to clean up everything that had been soaked over night while under the bed. Sheets went in the laundry.

Monday, Governor Deval Patrick called a state of emergency in Massachusetts and spent some of the day in Waltham at the flooding Moody Street bridge and dam. We read about that in The Boston Globe. But you, Brandeis, never acknowledged our problem or came by to see what had happened. You waited until Tuesday to clean it up.  You never updated most students who had filed work orders either. You probably assumed we would go away.

Meanwhile, you returned to your homes each night dry and safe. And even if your homes flooded, you probably had a wet vacuum to clean up.

Here, most students were left with nothing.  Our homes became Petri dishes full of mold and mildew.

We wish you would send a note of apology to students. Something to the tune of “We regret your hardship.” You might also want to fix the sources of the leaks–we hear rain is a recurring phenomenon.