Students concerned with campus apartments

ANNIE WEBER | STAFF REPORTER

“That’s the place over by the baseball field right?”

“Oh, is that over by the I-lot?”

These are two questions commonly asked to students who live in University Terrace. Located on the corner of 52nd Street and Westfield Boulevard, UT is home to nearly 100 students, typically juniors and seniors.

Elaine Miller, a sophomore pharmacy major, said there are pros and cons to living in UT. She said it is spacious and that having a kitchen is nice, but it is also rundown and far from campus.

“We have had a lot of problems with our toilet,” Miller said. “We just had someone come in and unclog our sink. For a while we didn’t have any water pressure in our shower.”

Miller is not the only one who has suffered from plumbing problems at UT.

Mckenzie Muchow, a sophomore strategic communications major, lives with three other roommates. She said both bathrooms have had major plumbing problems. Muchow said on one occasion she and her roommates came home from soccer practice to find their entire bathroom and hallway flooded.

“The toilet had been overflowing the entire time we were gone at practice and had leaked through to the floor below us and even to the basement,” Muchow said. “We had to call (Butler University Police Department), and maintenance stopped the flooding and brought fans.”

Muchow said maintenance asked if they wanted their carpets cleaned, which they all replied yes to, but maintenance responded that their carpets did not really need cleaning. It took over three months and an email to the dean of student life to get Muchow’s carpets cleaned and the industrial-size fan left in their apartment out.

Brenna Pawelkowski, sophomore communication sciences and disorders major, one of Muchow’s roommates, said their toilet still hasn’t been completely fixed.

“We were filling out a FixMyButler every week, pretty much,” Pawelkowski said. “They basically just put a Band-aid on the problem rather than actually fixing it.”

Miller is familiar with these “Band-aid” solutions.

“I had a friend whose ceiling was leaking and we called FixMyButler and they literally just duct-taped the ceiling,” Miller said.  “A couple weeks later they came back and plastered it.”

Miller has also struggled with noise control while living in UT. The people that live below her are in a band and practice often.

“They turn up the volume on their instruments all the way up and they practice twice a day, so once at noon and another time in the middle of the night. That’s a little irritating,” Miller said. “I emailed Kelly [the RA] and I said this is a problem and she said that she’s spoken to them before and they won’t listen.”

Granted, there is normal wear and tear from college students living in these apartments. However, at $3,350 a semester, University Terrace residents are paying $744 per month for subpar living conditions, plagued with problems and dirtiness. Those who live in Christian Theological Seminary or Butler Terrace also pay the same rate as UT.

Graphic by Kelly Murphy

Graphic by Kelly Murphy

This is almost double what most students pay for their senior houses.

“My senior house has completely remodeled bathrooms and granite countertops in the kitchen with newer appliances,” Pawelkowski, who signed for her senior house this past fall, said. “And we are paying way less for the house.”

While more expensive than living in Residential College, which costs $2,880 per semester, living in one of the other three options is far less expensive than living in Apartment Village at $4,570 per semester.

Miller said that when they moved in, their place was dirty. Pawelkowski agreed and said they had to do some serious cleaning when they first moved in.

“It was really frustrating because the person before us technically paid a cleaning fee, but it didn’t look like it had been touched,” Pawelkowski said. “One of my roommates’ moms went through an entire bottle of bleach cleaning the two bathrooms in our apartment.”

David Russell, residence life coordinator, sent an email to residents of University Terrace Tuesday regarding an uptick in vandalism and trash being left around the building.

“These charges may be billed to all residents of the building; that is, unless we are able to determine who specifically is responsible for the charges,” Russell said.

Rich Michal, executive director of facilities, explained that they have a system for determining when updates and renovations need to take place.

“We have developed a database identifying the cost to renovate and replace each major system and a priority date in which we believe these systems need to be addressed,”  Michal said, though he was not sure at that point in time what the date was for UT.

“It is spacious and it is what it is,” Miller said. “It is nicer than living in the dorms. I just think it takes a little more positivity to see that.”

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