SGA hopes to fix elevator problems

Article By: Ryan Boyle

Amid repeated problems with the elevators in Suffolk buildings, the SGA is working to repair some of the issues that students face while going from floor to floor.

Senior KyQuan Phong, the SGA Chair of Housing and Facilities, acknowledged that the administration is “well aware of the issues,” and that a proposal is being drafted to compliment the new elevator contracts that are going to be active within a year.

“Currently Suffolk has four different companies that manage the elevators,” said Phong, and that the administration is currently gathering proposals to create a new contract.  As of now the “elevators are serviced to safety standards,” and that little to no preventative maintenance takes place.

Phong described the SGA proposal as, “a simple programming change, to relieve a lot of congestion.”  In the proposal, the far left elevator in the Sawyer building will become an express elevator servicing the main lobby and floors nine through 12, like the one on the far right.  This will help alleviate the congestion during the morning and in between classes, allowing students to get to and from class quicker.  The SGA also wants to put a reporting system in place, so that if a student or faculty member notices an issue with an elevator they can call a number or send an e-mail, speeding up the maintenance process.

In October seniors Caitlin Milley, Courtney Crocker, Carolyn Milley, and Brittany McKalagat waited 45 minutes until Boston Firefighters freed them from an elevator in the Ridgeway building.  The senior girls incident is only one of seven entrapments from September to November, the most occurring in the 150 Tremont residence hall.

The four students were attending Professor Ken Martin’s photojournalism class and were out on a break. Upon returning,they became trapped inside the left elevator on the fourth floor.

“This happens frequently and I’ve been here long enough to know,” Professor Martin told the Journal in the Oct. 16 issue.  “And Ridgeway is one of the better elevators at Suffolk!”

“The elevators close too quickly, and could pose a danger to someone trying to enter at the last minute. The sensor in the elevator needs to be adjusted, so it opens when you try and stick your hand in and out quickly,” said sophomore Joe Weston, who lives in 10 West.

While the elevators in Ridgeway shut too quickly, the close button in the front lobby elevators at 10 West does not function.  The open button works as it should, although the close button does not shut the doors. Instead, students must wait for the elevator to automatically shut them.  Aside from the close button not working, the front lobby elevators function correctly.

The close button in the rear elevators in 10 West works perfectly, despite the elevators being older.  While the elevator is moving between floors, the motor goes silent, “and I get nervous, because I’m afraid it’s stalled between floors,” said 10 West resident Billy Hazeltine, 2012.

“I heard they were going to replace them or re-program them at some point, they’re not the best, but they work,” said freshman Glen Jackman regarding the elevators at 150 Tremont.
Gordon King, the Senior Director of Facilities Planning and Management, has a plan to spend $350,000 over the course of a five year period to replace the elevators starting with the 150 Tremont Resident Hall, and concluding with the Ridgeway building.

As of this printing, Suffolk University has declined to comment.

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