The multi-million-dollar residence hall is complete, but the elevators can’t seem to rise to the occasion. The facility still has some glitches that need to be worked out, according to Director of Housing and Residence Life, Paul Wheeler.
“There are a few mechanical problems … I think it’s just a matter of working out the bugs,” Wheeler said.
Five students became trapped in the elevator at three different occurrences throughout the month of October. All students who got stuck in the elevator reported getting stuck around 8–10 p.m. Mechanics were called to the scene at each incident. After the third occurrence, they closed the elevator for repairs.
Sometimes the wait in the stalled elevator wasn’t too bad.
Resident Irish Fegan was stuck in the elevator for about 20 minutes, but said he didn’t mind being trapped.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I was just chilling on my bean bag chair.”
Graham VanGem passed his time stuck in the elevator by “playing around on my phone and talking to Brenden.”
Brenden Smith, stuck between floors with VanGem, remained calm by “listening to some G-Eazy.”
A cause for concern for both residents was that the emergency button did not work.
“The first thing we did was try calling for help with the emergency button,” Smith said. “The connection was faulty, someone picked up and said they couldn’t hear us, then hung up.”
So how did they get out?
“We called our friend Patrick, who went for help. He told a RA who called public safety. Public Safety called the fire department, who propped the doors open,” VanGem said. “It was halfway between floors, so we had to jump out.”
All five trapped students followed a similar process to escape the elevator. Nobody was harmed, but several are leery of using the elevator.
“I am less trusting in the elevator, now that it has gotten stuck three times,” Smith said.
Vangem also has his doubts.
“I don’t want to use it anymore,” he said. “It’s already gotten stuck three times.”
Duyn is voting with his feet.
“I don’t feel like my safety was at risk during the time, but I am taking the stairs from now on,” he said.
The elevator will remain closed to the public while repairs are made. Wheeler says that he does not think the elevator is a safety threat to students.
Wanda Humphrey | The Broadside