GUSA and Office of Residential Living create survey aimed at improving housing

The GUSA Senate Subcommittee on Residential Living has joined forces with administrators in the Office of Residential Living (ORL) to create a survey aimed at addressing the needs of students living in on-campus housing.

Daniel Lysak (COL ’18) and InterHall Council representative David Lizza (COL ’15) are the chairs of this initiative.

Lizza came up with the idea for the survey last fall. He told Vox in an interview that the goal of the survey is to give the Facilities and the Office of Residential Living a students’ perspective on maintenance prioritization.

The survey is fairly straightforward: it asks you where you live and what improvements are needed in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen/common room, and how well internet works in your residence.

“Because the survey is divided into specific residence halls, apartments, and townhouses, we will be able to identify both area-specific issues and general issues,” Lysak explained to Vox. “We will use the results to work with Residential Services in the ORL on a plan of action to address the maintenance improvements that the students prioritize.”

Both GUSA and ORL are looking to reform aspects of residential living to enhance the student experience. An initial idea they have come up with is to change the laundry service to a pre-paid system. Students would pay a fixed fee and then have “unlimited” swipes for laundry.

A benefit of this change is that laundry fees would be a part of housing payments and thus be included in financial aid, where it is currently not covered. “There is a convenience factor. Currently, students need to add money to their card, and if they forget how much is there, it’s a hassle to add money for laundry,” Lizza said.

Other issues GUSA and ORL are hoping to address are the contract with RCN (a cable service) and the work order system. This survey asks students whether they use RCN, and if a limited number say yes, it could lead ORL to revisit their contract with them.

They also want to find out if students know how to submit a work order request because students might need more detailed instructions about the process. “So far, only 21% of students say that responses to work orders have at least met their expectations, while 33% say responses to work orders either do not meet expectations or there is no response at all,” Lysak told Vox.

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