While it’s convenient to be two blocks from campus and nice to be in the same building as all your friends, the cons heavily outweigh the pros of living at the Brooklyn College Residence Hall, according to current and past residents of the building.
Three out of five stars on google isn’t usually that bad, though reading through the reviews leads you to realize most of the positive reviews are from staff and parents (who never actually stayed in the building). And while many issues have to do with staff, a lot has to do with the condition of the building itself. Kolaiah Stewart said in a one-star review, “This place needs to be torn down and rebuilt.”
Most residents’ problems began as soon as they entered the building. Move-in day for college dorm students should be a great experience. You’re living on your own for the first time, your parents help you move in, you meet your roommates…well at the Residence Hall it wasn’t as easy as it should have been.
“Move in day was a disaster, it was like there was only one person working in the office to get everyone their room keys!” said Stacy Torgerson, the mother of a resident. “Then, when my daughter finally got her key, the room was so filthy, we had to clean every sticky drawer, cabinet, floor, and even the walls were marked up and had paint chipping off.”
Lauren Stimola and Maddy Littlefield, both freshman, agreed. Stimola explained that there were clumps of hair everywhere in the bathroom, and the entire room was filthy. Littlefield said that along with the uncleanliness of the room that there were marks and inappropriate drawings on her walls.
Stimola also said flooding (a common occurrence in residence’s rooms) has been occurring in her room. “Every time it rains for more than a day or two, my bedroom ceiling leaks consistently until the rain stops. To fix it, the maintenance man just adds another layer of spackle on top of the hole.” She said this happens to her room often, in the bathroom as well.
The ceiling above her shower is covered by a wooden board that would drop water down the wall whenever the resident on the floor above her showered. Eventually, mold started coming down with the water and the wooden board started falling apart too. To fix the issue, the maintenance sprayed the mold with some bleach and replaced the wooden board with a plastic one. “This plastic board is bigger and makes water leak even outside of the shower onto the bathroom floor, as well as onto my body when I shower,” said Stimola.
Emily Harmse, a senior, has also had a negative experience with mold in her bathroom since August. “The ceiling above the shower has been falling down, there is visible mold, maintenance has had to fix it about four or five times because they haven’t been fixing it properly,” Harmse said. Along with the mold, many students have had issues with flooding. Nine out of 12 students spoken to reported to have had issues with flooding in their rooms.
A leak in Stimola’s room caused water to drip down from the upper room into the power circuit. This resulted in Stimola and her roommates fearing a fire or being electrocuted. “Maintenance did not come to resolve the problem until over 24 hours later,” said Stimola. They lived in darkness for almost two days.
Though that is just one of many safety concerns in the building. Harmse says her room does not even have a smoke detector. Many other residents had them without batteries installed, and had to struggle to climb up on chairs and stools to install the batteries themselves.
“For how much it costs to live in the building, you would expect it to be in better condition, especially for only being a few years old,” said Phoebe Collins, a freshman. Collins lives in a single room with a shared kitchen/bathroom that costs $6,995. To live in a fully shared room (the cheapest option), it costs $5,950 a semester. Many other students have said they were “outraged” at the price of the building because of the awful condition and how poorly the staff solves problems.