Residents of Boston University’s South Campus voiced concerns about the recurring maintenance issues they face in their residences.
Among these issues, mice infestations were one of the most prevalent.
Malaika Ezetah, a junior in the College of Communication, had a recurring issue with mice in her apartment on Buswell Street last semester.
Ezetah said BU Facilities Management and Operations came to her apartment about six times to address the issue before conducting an investigation where she said they discovered a large chunk of missing foundation, causing instability in her floors and a possible entrance for rodents.
“[It was] a defeating process,” she said. “I wasn’t in my place often, so there would be stretches of time where pretty much every time I was able to stay in my apartment for a little bit, one [mouse] would pop out.”
Ezetah said the whole situation made her lose trust in the abilities of BU facilities.
“I just never felt like I could rely on [maintenance,]” she said. “It would be sort of a pattern where I [would] call and they would come in and set traps … and I would have to call again.”
In an email from BU spokesperson Colin Riley, the rodent extermination process that pest control undergoes involves the “sealing [of] small gaps in units and common areas.”
“BU has a Pest Control vendor on site during the week, and they respond to reports typically on the day reported, or on the day after,” he wrote.
However, students believe what maintenance is doing is not enough. Vincent Semidey Jr., a sophomore in Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, who lives at 522 Park Drive, described mouse-traps as a “temporal” fix.
“I’ve called twice before, and they have set up traps,” Semidey Jr. said. “However the issue is much bigger than setting up traps.”
Amaya Centeio, a resident assistant at 48 Buswell Street and a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said at least five residents approached her with complaints about mice.
Leaks and plumbing blockages are amongst other regular maintenance issues in some South Campus residences.
Chloe Salomon, a resident assistant at 11 Buswell Street and a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the second floor bathroom is “clogged consistently” and her residents often have heat issues.
“We have floods [in the bathroom] very frequently,” Salomon said. “[Toilet water] comes up with toilet paper on the floor.”
Centeio had similar concerns to Salomon. According to her, a recent leakage at 48 Buswell Street that started on the fourth floor and dripped through the building’s ceilings forming a puddle in the basement.
“It was actually sewage water,” said Centeio. “The whole building smelled awful.”
Although the exact origin of the clogging is unknown, Riley wrote that students have been reminded to only flush toilet paper down the toilets.
Centeio said dealing with these maintenance problems on top of her other responsibilities as a resident assistant has been “frustrating” and takes up most of her job.
“It does take up most of my job because the building is so old and has a lot of issues,” Centeio said.
“When we’re supposed to be focused on making sure residents are safe … the last thing we should be concerned about [are] these constant facilities and maintenance issues,” Centeio said.
Salomon said resident assistants are “not trained or given instructions to do anything further than just call either emergency facilities or senior staff” when maintenance issues arise.
The only recent upgrades that have been done in South Campus have been to the bathrooms in 24, 34 and 42 Buswell Street, according to Riley. He wrote that more renovations in South Campus might occur in the future.
“As planning and budgeting for future maintenance projects is completed and approved, these projects will be scheduled,” Riley wrote.