Housing owes residents better communication

On February 4, 2013

Losing power for more than 10 hours is frustrating, but not knowing why power is gone, or for how long it will be gone, is unreasonable.

When the Juniper-Poplar residence halls last power for almost half a day yesterday, few knew what was going on nor what to expect. Residents and Resident Assistants (RAs) alike were in a state of confusion. Rumors swirled as to whether power would be back in the building before Tuesday.

While the Department of Housing and Residential Education is not to blame for the power cuts, an issue that was resolved by TECO around 10:30 p.m., they certainly owed the rent-paying tenants and RAs of the building better communication.

RAs told their residents they were unaware of what was going on and residents waited in limbo, with their laundry partially done and homework in various states of completion.

In the event that a more serious emergency occurs, it is essential that lines of communications are well in place. RAs said they heard nothing from their supervisors, and by the time someone at the Information Desk had information to provide, it was late in the evening, and few students were still aware of the situation.

When the Super Dome lost power for 35 minutes during the Super Bowl game, communication with those inside the building was essential in preventing pandemonium.

In situations such as Sundays power cuts, it is essential that every student in the dorms is aware of what is going on even if the answer is that no one is sure yet. Frustration can only be quelled through appropriate communication.

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