Apartment Housing Students Stressed About Living Conditionscsudhbulletin December 8, 2022 0 COMMENTS
Living conditions in the CSUDH apartments have not improved. Photo by Kimberly Resendiz
By Melissa Melgar, Staff Reporter
Students living in the university apartments have been promised better amenities throughout past semesters, but the lack of action from the housing department has many questioning if it is even worth paying to live there. From having no air conditioning or heating system to grout and mold build-up from past tenants, students are beginning to lose their patience.
At the beginning of the fall semester, record-breaking heat waves struck California with temperatures reaching up to 110 degrees. With no form of air conditioning or ventilation, housing students were forced to find other alternatives to stay cool. When students expressed their concerns to the housing department they were promised fans yet never received any.
Now that fall is here and temperatures are dropping significantly, many students have become frustrated with housing once again because the gas heaters installed in the apartments rattle and heat up the walls so drastically, they fear for their safety.
Joeilin Abcede, a junior and clinical science major at California State University, Dominguez Hills, lived in the residence hall for a semester before moving to the housing apartments. She has lived there for a year and shares her experience as a housing student who has lived in both the apartments and residence hall.
“Being able to live in both types of housing has really opened my eyes to see how poorly done living conditions on campus have been. I was told that the [air conditioner in the residence hall] is controlled by a third party so the school has no access to it whatsoever, and when it gets really hot students have no way of cooling themselves down,” Joeilin said. “We weren’t allowed to have portable ACs in our rooms, only the [resident assistants] were allowed to. If you were a [resident assistant] you were allowed to be comfortable while other students were not.”
When it comes to the heaters students said that they were told by housing to make sure to allow up to 10 feet of space. However, due to the lack of space in the apartments, students decided to not turn on their heaters at all, choosing safety over warmth.
“The insulation is not the greatest either, I had to bring my own portable heater because I can’t trust the one on the wall. They don’t teach you how to use the heater whatsoever, and if something were to happen they cannot blame us because they didn’t teach us how to even turn it on,” Joeilin explained.
Along with heating concerns, students are also faced with cracked bathroom walls, chipped paint, rust, lizard and bug infestation problems, and mold. This is all beginning to put a toll on students’ mental health.
Victor Cano, a junior and computer science major at CSUDH, kicked off the year by moving into the housing apartment complex to be closer to school. His first impression of housing was tainted by all the unexpected issues and inconveniences.
“The heating and cooling is the main problem. I remember there was a promise of fans during the heatwave and my roommates would resort to other places for cooling. They would send out emails to us about going to buildings with air conditioning,” Cano said.
Pricing in the apartments varies from person to person. The overall total cost depends on how many students share one apartment. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment can hold up to two occupants while a three-bedroom allows up to six total occupants.
The housing website has dos and don’ts that inform students about what they can and cannot do during their time in the apartments. The site tells students to not overpack their refrigerators because “it will not cool properly,” but in an apartment that holds four to six people it almost seems impossible to not do so.
Cano lives in an apartment that holds six people and one of their biggest inconveniences is the refrigerator. There is not enough space for students to store their perishables. When he was first applying for housing he read that they would provide each room with a mini refrigerator, but they never received it.
He has since filled out over 12 maintenance forms to housing to help fix the problems in the apartment. Cano says that the response back from housing has been a mix of either doing a good job or questioning if any work was ever done.
“You can tell that the apartments have not been cleaned, the ovens are disgusting, our sink is always clogged, the couch they provide is ripping,” Cano said. He said he filed a complaint, but nothing has been done about it.
Many attempts have been made to hear back from housing but there has been no response.