USG talks maintenance, work orders

Written By Mitchell Drake, USG Beat Writer

The United Student Government (USG) met in the JVH Auditorium to discuss safety and maintenance concerns with the Vice President of Operations for Point Park University Physical Plant Chris Hill.

Hill visited the legislative body meeting to discuss the various concerns about recent maintenance-related issues, and make notes for improvement, as his department manages the upkeep of facilities, conferences and events and transportation.

After explaining the different accomplishments and decisions of Physical Plant (the moving of The Globe office and the WPPJ studios to a new location, the creation process of the Center for Media Innovation building, and the building of the color correction and Da Vinci rooms), Hill addressed concerns previously reported to his department by students, then discussed concerns and issues from USG members.

Among the issues reported to Physical Plant were dirty stairwells and expired inspection tags on elevators. Hill explained that the frequent filth found in stairwells are mostly due to budget cuts in cleaning equipment and personnel. He commented that the Thayer Hall stairwell (which is often plastered in fliers, spills and the occasional chunks of food) is the “dirtiest” stairwell on campus.

The topic of elevators spurred a conversation with multiple members of USG. Senator Grace Tyler Frank-Rempel expressed her concerns over the inefficiency of the elevators in the Student Center, claiming the speed of the opening of the elevator doors was aggravatingly slow. President Pro-Tempore Megan Ortego recalled an incident when she had attempted to stop one of the closing elevator doors only to have her arm “smashed.”

Hill attempted to explain the causes of these issues by stating the manipulation of the elevator doors are getting increasingly hard to control as they age. He detailed if the speed of one elevator’s doors was changed, the other elevators would be changed as well – possibly causing even more problems with elevators closing too quickly.

He then explained that the ability to stop doors by sticking one’s hand in before closing was dictated by the power and age of the sensors between elevator doors. Each sensor is fitted with lasers that sense when an arm or appendage is between the doors, prompting it to stop. As the elevators age, the strength of the lasers will eventually weaken and not sense movement as strongly as before.

Hill also advised students “don’t keep hitting the button”, as each button press would send out a single call for an elevator. Too many calls for one elevator could jumble the signals, forcing the elevator to stop at different floors before reaching your floor. He also detailed the current system Physical Plant employs for the elevators allows for monitoring and analysis of average wait times for specific elevators and how many times an elevator’s doors would open.

Multiple USG members expressed their disdain with the current work order system. Ortego recalled a time when she could not report a maintenance issue in the Student Center because she was not registered to live there, so she was unable to call for the correct service. Newly appointed Senator Jade Steele described a time when no maintenance workers would come to her aid when a glass shelf of her fridge shattered and there were shards of broken glass everywhere in Conestoga Hall. Frank-Rempel talked about how her floor’s washer and dryer were often repaired with duct tape and would frequently break.

Hill discussed fixing ongoing issues and stated that he and his department are looking into a greater way of sending and receiving work orders through Corrigo or a better system, as well as getting greater efficiency from cleaning and maintenance workers.

“If we’re going to sign a contract with these guys, they need to be getting better reports and getting things fixed…” Hill said.

Ortego helped settle the newly appointed senators by teaching them the USG office hours and the dress code mandated in the constitution. She used a slide that depicted different shades and washes of pants to wear alongside their polos to avoid future clothing debacles similar to the event that transpired last week.

President Kaylee Kearns swore in two new members of USG today. Freshman cinema production major Mya Jackson and freshman funeral services major Brighid Shanahan. Much like the recent batch of newly appointed senators, the diversity in majors is intended to bring different mindsets and representation of a broader range of students in USG.