Students say Service Wave is slow to respond

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Colin Yaccarino

Tulane students have reported difficulty with getting service wave requests fulfilled in some instances.

Humidity and older buildings are something each Tulane student grows accustomed to when arriving on the historic campus, but with damp air and aged rooms come the risk of mold and broken appliances.

Service Wave, a program under the Tulane Office of Facilities Services, is responsible for responding to student problems regarding room and residence hall maintenance. Students can submit a Service Wave request through the office’s website or call the Emergency Service Wave phone number if the matter is urgent.

Some students, however, complain that their requests are not responded to quickly or go unanswered altogether, even after being marked as resolved.

Junior Amber Thorpe said that in the beginning of the school year they discovered mold growing on the ceiling of their Paterson House residence hall room, as well as a broken shower head in their bathroom. Thorpe submitted a Service Wave request mentioning both of these issues.  

According to Thorpe, a Facilities Services employee came the next day to repair the shower head and said he would send another employee at a later time for the mold.  Thorpe said after submitting several consecutive Service Wave requests after the initial one remained unresolved, they still received no response from Facilities Services about the mold in their room.

Thorpe said they feel Facilities Services often seems to prioritize easier-to-fix problems like broken faucets over more serious situations like mold.

“I feel like there’s something that’s lost in translation in the processes of bureaucracy,” Thorpe said. “I put in like six Service Wave requests, and they’ve said they’ve gone through and two weeks later, they are reported as completed even though it looks like nothing has been done.”

According to Kelly Venable Carroll, assistant vice president of facilities management and campus development, the Service Wave staff receive a total of 75-100 Service Wave requests a day, which can lead to certain repairs being prioritized over others.

“While all repairs are important in order to keep our students/customers comfortable, certain types of repairs are considered emergency in nature,” Carroll said. “In the residence halls, clogged drains, broken ACs, lights out and the like are called in as we understand these are students’ ‘homes’ during the academic year.”

Freshman Pearl Dalla, a Butler House resident, said she feels the lack of staff and amount of complaints can lead to certain requests being fulfilled in a haphazard way.

“I feel like Service Wave is so backed up, a lot of times it has to use Band-Aid solutions to keep up,” Dalla said. “It’s basically like there are so many problems and only a limited number of people to solve all of them.”

Carroll said that though Service Waves can take time to be responded to, no request will ever be marked resolved without the request being actually completed and that Facility Services is dedicated to providing quality service to the Tulane community.

“A service request should never be marked as having been completed if it wasn’t, regardless of the nature of the issue,” Carroll said.

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