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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Student leaders push GW to respond to Mitchell FIXit requests

Correction appended

Mitchell Hall has seen flooding, leaks, fungus, broken ceilings and malfunctioning laundry machines this year.

In response to student complaints, advocates from the Student Association and the Residence Hall Association are pushing the University to deal with issues up the hall before fall move-in next year.

Sophomore Shani Shih said she found fungus growing on the ceiling of her third-floor bathroom last semester. FIXit responded after about a week.

“Mushrooms were basically growing on the wall in the bathrooms,” Shih said.

In the past two years, the University has taken steps to improve the 350-room building at 514 19th St. Several communal bathrooms and kitchens were renovated, and new furniture was added to the lobby.

But residents say they have continually faced problems.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard declined to provide the number of FIXit requests reported across the University for the past semester, saying GW would not provide those numbers because “they can be misinterpreted and are classified in different ways.”

GW last provided FIXit numbers in October 2011, when students said they were frustrated with a backlog of requests.

Atalay Ozsoy, a fifth-year senior, said his Mitchell sink was overflowing to the point of flooding last semester, displacing him from the building until this month.

“They tried to move me back a couple of times, but I refused – the smell was that bad,” he said.

While 84-year-old Mitchell houses mostly sophomores, officials recently announced that transfer students would occupy about half of the rooms this August. SA Director of New Students Ari Massefski and RHA President Jacob Thayer said they want to spruce up the building for transfers, paying close attention to problems like air and heating systems, plumbing and laundry machines.

After housing assignments were doled out last year, several freshmen created a Facebook group where students complained about being forced to pay $9,250 yearly for a single room and a communal bathroom down the hall.

“I think that there is often a stigma on campus that Mitchell is not a good property to live in,” Thayer, a four-year resident of the building, said. “I think it’s underrated.”

Sophomore Max McGee said it took several days for GW to respond to a water leak in his bathroom, which he shares with more than a dozen students. McGee said the issue returned a few days later.

“I feel as though they just mopped up the water and didn’t fix the problem,” McGee said.

Junior Liz Schmit said she covered a hole in her ceiling with a garbage bag for two weeks before the University responded.

“I called them after a ceiling tile fell from my roof,” she said. “I had to call FIXit twice because I waited for about a week and they still hadn’t come.”

Special Adviser for Communications and Outreach John Ralls, who works in the facilities department, declined to provide information on potential laundry issues before publication time.

Massefski said living in Mitchell’s singles will be good for the transfer community, and he wants to make repairs before students arrive this fall.

This article was updated Jan. 29, 2013 to reflect the following:
A previous version of this article misrepresented the tone of Mitchell Hall residents. It has been updated. We regret this error.

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