I wanted to share this with you. Then I'll find something fun to share with you, too.]
I’d like to think it takes a lot for me to get sufficiently and significantly pissed off. That being said, under no circumstances do I allow someone to walk all over me, but I’m not going to flip at the smallest thing, either. I’m pretty even-keeled. And over the course of my three years at this institution, I really haven’t much to say regarding how things are run, or even the policies. Ironic, considering I wrote for martini, the most opinionated publication on campus, and probably within a thirty-mile radius, too. I don’t normally, in a lot of cases, openly criticize our campus, either. Only when they’ve made a fairly big oopsie, do I really feel the need to say something.
At this time, it is entirely appropriate for me to say, to Res Ed, of all places, you need to get your shit together when dealing with students.
The first thing to keep in mind, whether dealing with someone who’s recently returned from being abroad or whether they’ve no plans to live anywhere but sunny Geneva for four years, is to remember that they are, first and foremost, a person. A living, breathing human who deserves to be treated as such, and not simply as a building name and a room number. I understand that we’re considered “residents” but, I do have a name, and I do have feelings.
Right now, I’m feeling incredibly frustrated and, honestly, disgusted.
Namely because you’ve given me a room, allowed me to move into it, and then, for some unknown reason, our buddy the fire marshal has deemed the space unlivable. Now, I’m not an idiot – I get there are certain regulations and codes the fire marshal has to follow, but what I don’t understand, and what nobody’s really answered for me yet, is why the room I’m currently occupying (writing this article, to be honest) was used regularly only a couple of years ago, used a bit last semester, previously okayed by the fire marshal, and suddenly, with only a change of tenant, has become a big freakin’ issue.
I’d be a little more understanding of this whole clusterfuck, if someone could actually tell me what was wrong with room and, maybe, how we could fix it. Like if someone in JPR has an extension cord, they simply remove the cord. Someone in Odell’s has curtains, they remove the curtains. These are violations that have a set rule to follow. This? This is pure asshattery on someone’s part because I’ve no idea why in hell I’ve got to move from a place that was offered to me by Res Ed (once cleared through the fire marshal to be active as a room again), which I took, moved in, and have been living here since last Tuesday, and in that time, nobody’s given me a damn answer.
Hell, Res Ed’s gung ho to move me outta here without telling me why I need to move, other than repeating over and over “the fire marshal.”
The fire marshal is a man who looks for infractions in the regulations and rules set down by the fire code. The regulation can tell me there’s something to fix; the man has to tell me the regulation I’m breaking.
So far, communication sucks.
Then again, that seems to be a growing trait on this campus.
What really frustrates me is that when you have an issue in your housing, Res Ed encourages you to go to your RA or to your Area Coordinator, or to their office because they want to help you. They want to provide you with an environment in which you can study and achieve what you want to achieve. They want to look to help you in small ways, to start at the bottom of the action ladder and work their way up; to avoid drastic action for as long as possible because they want you to see if you can stick it out with your roommate and make things work. If you have roommate issues, you’re going to through this whole process before they’ll commit to moving you to a different location. It’s almost like you have to fight to move from a situation that you’re not benefitting from, that’s hurting you.
In this case, we’re bypassing the whole damn ladder and starting right in with the drastic action that should, usually, be avoided. The truly frightening thing about this whole mess? Well, let me put it this way. When the fire marshal does his first rounds at the beginning of each semester, if you have something that infringes on the rules – say, an extension cord – you get a letter on your desk or your bed that informs you of your violation and then gives you a certain amount of days to make it go away. That or he just takes your extension cord. If you don’t remove the infraction, or fix it, in the certain number of days, you get fined and then, well, you’d damn well better get rid of whatever’s upset him. Or, rather, upset the regulation.
There wasn’t a paper on my desk or my bed, and there was nothing in my email, either, about any infraction that the room – including how it was laid out – or the stuff in it, was in violation of any fire code. Or any part of the fire code, as the thing is quite massive. Again, that’s a massive breakdown of communication right there. I’m living in a space suddenly deemed unlivable, but with no idea why it’s unlivable. I haven’t got ESP, I don’t have a direct link to the fire marshal’s brain, and I can’t tell what the hell goes on in the administration on a daily basis, and, quite frankly, I don’t want to. I have enough to deal with being a student.
And you don’t need a degree to realize you can’t fix something when you don’t know or understand how it’s broken to begin with.
Moving someone is a last resort, not a first option, no matter who they are, what grade level, and whether they live in the little room under the stairs or a forced triple in Jackson. And that, by the way, is just absolutely insane.
So, if Res Ed really has my well-being as a student and as a resident – and maybe as a person, too, as that’s also important – at the forefront of their actions, they’ll leave me the hell alone in the room they offered to me and let me continue to function as I’m currently functioning both socially and academically. That would be in my best interests.