FAMU freshman turns to social media to address housing crisis

 Tajae Jones | The FAMUAN

Markia Patrick, a pre-nursing freshman at Florida A&M University, posted a detailed video of a leak in her FAMU Village dorm room on Saturday.

The almost two-minute twitter post showed water marks around the leak, water pockets in the wall, and water drops from the ceiling.

“I attend Florida A&M University and I have been living in Village East for 3 weeks now. My roommate and I have had a leak and we’ve contacted maintenance several times and this is the result,” Patrick posted.

Patrick explained that she spoke with maintenance personnel, residence directors, and resident assistants (RAs), all to no avail.

“My problem wasn’t taken care of, someone did come out to look at it and I was told that another coworker would come out within three days and that didn’t happen. So, I sent another email, no response. And I contacted housing directors, sent pictures and everything. Still no response. Our RAs got involved. They took pictures but still no response,” Patrick said.

According to Omodara Gbeke, an RA at Village West, there is a specific process residents must follow in regard to maintenance requests.

 Tajae Jones | The FAMUAN

“To get maintenance issues adhered to we make sure that they’re aware of the housing maintenance email, which is posted in the elevators. If they happen to come down here and ask us a question then we will refer them back to that email,” said Gbeke.

RAs rarely ever handle maintenance related issues for residents. They typically refer them back to the email posted around the building.

“We don’t handle any maintenance issues, or maintenance request. We don’t call maintenance personally. But, they do get those emails to their actual phones, tablets, or whatever device they’re working on. So, once they see it they give a work order and they come out within two business days to come handle the situation,” said Gbeke.

The Department of Plant Operations and Maintenance at FAMU oversees maintenance requests and work orders. Kendrick Collins, a senior clerk of 13 years, says problems are filtered through a general service request form and can take from five to seven days to be fixed.

 “Our customers will give us their building name, room number and tell us where the problem is.  On the bottom, they will give a brief description of what the issue would be. From this form, we would create a work request for the maintenance department. That will give the maintenance department a work order number to go out and actually do the work,” said Collins.

The clerk office receives an average of more than 50 work orders a day and requests are categorized into two sections: emergency and nonemergency work orders.

“Leaks in the ceiling we consider an emergency so that would typically be dispatched right away,” said Collins.

Patrick said her issue was not resolved until she expressed her concerns on social media.

“It was getting so bad that I would clean the floor and five minutes later I would come out of my room and it would be soaked again. We had to move stuff out of the way. I was like I can’t make it until Monday. It was nothing else to do and nobody was answering the phone. They hung up on my mom and she called back. That’s when we furthered the emails and sent more pictures. I knew nothing was going to happen and I didn’t want to stay in that dorm room. So, I went to social media,” said Patrick.

After voicing her concerns on social media, FAMU personnel contacted Patrick separately on Twitter to rectify the situation. 

“Within an hour someone from FAM private messaged me and asked for my room number, saying sorry for the inconvenience. Other people were saying they were sorry about what happened. That night they came knocking on the door to try to fix it,” said Patrick.

As of now Patrick’s issue is not completely resolved but FAMU staff and workers are working to get the issue fixed.

“It’s not fixed yet, we’re in a temporary house and they are still working on it,” said Patrick.

For additional info about maintenance concerns contact: FAMU Plant Operations & Maintenance: (850) 599-3250 or visit the office at 2400 Wahnish Way, Plant Operations Building A, Suite 102.