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May 26, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Cumberland House in the shit, for realz

Cumberland House, one of the three student accommodation buildings operated by Campus Living Villages, has found itself in the shit again – literally.

Plagued by numerous maintenance and renovation issues already this year, the latest problem at Cumberland involved a burst sewerage pipe on the fifth floor of the building.

Residents on the fifth floor woke at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning two weeks ago to a wet hallway and the smell of sewerage. Tradesmen, without prior warning, arrived and attempted to fix the problem.

According to one resident, the tradesmen were talking loudly and using noisy power tools for five hours outside residents’ rooms repairing the burst pipe, making sleep or study impossible.

On a subsequent day, while the plumbing was under repair, the water supply in the entire building was turned off for four hours between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. This inconvenienced the routine hygiene habits of many residents and forced them to “hold on,” go without their morning shower and leave the building without brushing their teeth.

According to one resident, most of those living on fifth floor were offered relocation to a hotel. However, despite noisy carpet dryers operating non-stop for three days, some were not given this option.

“I couldn’t sleep when I had two essays due that week,” said one resident. “I didn’t get offered relocation even though the leak was right outside my door, as was the carpet dryer.”

As well as the lingering scent of shit, residents have continued to suffer disruption to study and sleep as work is still being carried out to repair the damage.

Residents have acknowledged that the management’s response to the sewerage leak seemed prompt. However, many felt illinformed about the situation.

Many residents believe financial compensation, for the disruption and inconvenience caused by the sewerage leak, should be offered by Unicomm management.

A dessert night was held last Wednesday by Unicomm management, to apologise and give residents the opportunity to talk to management about the ongoing maintenance troubles.

A poster advertising the dessert night claimed that “Nothing says sorry like chocolate,” for the “bumpy ride this trimester with our facilities/maintenance.” Unicomm Management acknowledged in the poster that the ongoing maintenance “has been annoying,” and that “no one wants to live in a house that leaks, floods and is under upgrades.”

Unicomm Management did not reply to requests for comment before Salient went to print.


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