Our Opinion: Holmes Hall Needs Work
Freshmen living in the brand-new Hamilton Holmes residence hall have been reporting frequent maintenance issues including power outages in many parts of the building and recycled wastewater being used in the bathrooms, resulting in foul odors and generally unsanitary conditions. The firm that built Hamilton Holmes, New South, has claimed responsibility for the new residence hall’s mechanical problems.
To make matters worse, sophomore and resident advisors in Hamilton Holmes have instructed their residents to avoid discussing the building’s condition. Many freshmen living in Hamilton Holmes have taken to Facebook and other social media outlets to voice their discontent with their present living conditions.
Although Residence Life and Housing officials have begun to address these issues, we at the Wheel feel that this is a situation that Emory’s administration could have anticipated from the start and taken measures to avoid. The university had similar problems after the construction of the Longstreet-Means residence hall and, at the very least, could have predicted that these problems might arise again. The fact that residents of Hamilton Holmes had to go so far as to voice their opinions online belies a distinct lack of attention on the part of Emory’s ResLife department.
Furthermore, the sophomore and resident advisors’ attempts to quell their residents’ complaints were simply irresponsible and thoroughly inappropriate. The first-year residents of Hamilton Holmes — not to mention the rest of the Emory community — deserve better transparency on issues regarding their living conditions, if only because freshmen are required to live in university housing and must pay $3,600 a semester for that privilege.
Going forward, we at the Wheel ask that Emory — especially the ResLife department — anticipate these problems and have the necessary maintenance staff ready upon the first mention of an issue. Issues such as the use of recycled, malodorous wastewater in bathrooms are not only unpleasant for the residents of the afflicted residence hall, but are also unsanitary and dangerous to the residents’ health. If Emory is going to require its first-year students to live in campus housing, it must also make every effort to provide the utmost of comfort and sanitation to those students.
The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.