I’m upset that I’ll never get to live in the Holiday Inn that now masquerades as Mercyhurst’s freshman dorm. I do get some solace, however, that I’m living in one of the nice townhouses on East 41st Street.
Only one problem: I can’t get into my own home.
When I returned to school Aug. 29, I went down to the pavilion between Briggs and Lewis to pick up my key. They highlighted my name, opened the corresponding box of keys and…failed to find my name on any of them.
“No problem,” I thought. We were given a transfer student earlier that week, and I assumed he was given my key mistakenly. An RA in charge of distributing keys went with me into Egan to grab one of the spare master keys.
Only one problem: no master key.
It seemed a bit strange, considering all the other apartments and townhouses had master keys there. ‘Does this mean that keys to our place are just floating around all over campus?’ I asked.
“It’s not a problem,” I was told. I only had to check in at Police and Safety the next morning, and they would have a new key made.
Only one problem: It didn’t happen.
No one had made the necessary phone call between Housing, Res Life, Police and Safety and Maintenance that would have gotten the key made and delivered.
No problem, I thought. I re-explained my problem to an employee (not a Work Study) in the housing department and was given the promise that the key would be made later that day. I got a phone call during tennis practice and returned to school to retrieve my key.
One problem: It didn’t fit.
Even though my key had the same code on it as my roommates, it wouldn’t open my door. I explained that I couldn’t get in to this same employee in Housing, whose response was…"It’s a new key. Try harder."
No problem, I thought. I took matters into my own hands by going to Maintenance with my roommate’s key, asking them if I could please get a copy made.
No dice, they said. I had to go through Housing.
Three separate failed keys later, the "no problems" and "one problem’s" have started to get on my nerves.
There seems to be more of a comprehensive problem in Housing than I understood. Until last Friday, when Laura Zirkle (who has been abundantly helpful) stayed late at work, gave me her cell phone number and offered to come to work early on Tuesday, no one had taken any responsibility in the matter.
I went 10 days without a key into my own home, for which I am spending approximately $2,000 this term.
If this doesn’t constitute a breach of housing contract on Mercyhurst’s end, I don’t know what does.
My girlfriend has also told me that Maintenance gave her master keys last year to complete the Trash for Treasure pick-up for the Green Team.
Considering that keys to my apartment could be anywhere, that master keys get handed out to students and that there is little accountability in Housing or Res Life (again, in my experience, with the exception of Ms. Zirkle), I think it comes as no surprise when there are thefts on campus.
Until Mercyhurst takes more stringent accountability to ensure our safety on campus, I believe they are in breach of their own housing contract.