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The Murray State News

UPDATE: Parents, students share concerns over heating in residential colleges

Franklin+resident%2C+Madison+King%2C+bundles+up+while+working+on+assignments.+
Caroline Blakeman
Franklin resident, Madison King, bundles up while working on assignments.

Editors Note: This story was updated to include information from the Housing on Jan. 18 2:40 p.m.

Two days after parents shared concerns about heating issues in Murray State’s residential colleges, Murray State University’s housing director said in a statement the office is addressing issues.

In a statement sent to The News, David Wilson, director of housing, said student work orders that have been placed are being or have been addressed.

“We appreciate our residential students notifying us of issues within their residence hall and being patient as our Facilities Management staff worked diligently,” Wilson said. “Any residential student with concerns is encouraged to contact the desk staff in their hall or the Housing Office.”

Murray State students returned to campus over the weekend during a winter weather advisory and some discovered their residence hall rooms lacked heat.

Parents reported their students living in Clark, Springer-Franklin and Elizabeth Halls were without heat since arriving on campus. 

Some posts claimed their student had not received an update from maintenance even days after filling out work orders.

Wendy Hibbs’ daughter lives in Clark. Hibbs said when they arrived on campus on Saturday, her daughter’s room was 40 degrees. 

While driving back she received multiple messages that the heat was out and the workers said they had no idea when it would be up and running,” Hibbs said. 

Due to the cold temperatures in the room, Hibbs paid for a hotel room Monday night for her daughter and roommate. 

One student, who wants to remain anonymous, got heat last night in Franklin at 8:26 p.m. after numerous work orders, calls to the Housing Office and messages to their RA. This student said they are concerned about the lack of urgency from the University. 

The school is aware that it is dangerously cold out, so much so that they have issued a weather alert. I have heard nothing from the school about the heating issue,” the student said. “I’m worried how long this will last since the last time I had an emergency work order put in, it took forever for someone to come and fix the problem.”

Junior early childhood development major Aubree Wittenborn said her room in Clark was 65 degrees on Saturday but dropped to 55 by Tuesday. 

She contacted her RA, who offered her another room to stay in and provided updates as they came in. 

Matt Conley is another parent who shared his frustrations on the family Facebook page on Tuesday morning. 

His daughter, a resident of Franklin, arrived on campus Sunday, where her room was 65 degrees. Since then, Conley said the temperature has steadily dropped. 

Conley called the Housing Office twice and the Franklin front desk once and was disappointed by the response from housing. 

The man I spoke to seemed to care less [that] she was having issues,” Conley said. “He said I should have her put in a work order, and I told him she has and nothing happened; that’s why I’m calling you.” 

Wilson added students in rooms impacted were notified by e-mail from the Housing Office that accommodations would be made for anyone who requested a change.

As a parent, Conley said he is concerned by the lack of heat and other issues his daughter has faced since coming to Murray. 

“We pay an exorbitant amount of money for this housing and we have had nothing but trouble since she has been at Murray,” Conley said. “She has had mold in her room, [and] we fought and fought with housing over an ant issue.”

Conley added that this latest issue has sparked conversations on possibly transferring after this semester.

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About the Contributors
Jill Smith, Co-Editor In Chief/News Editor
Jillian Smith is Co-EIC and News Editor at The News. Smith is a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Smith is also a Graduate Assistant in Student Affairs. Beyond working and class, Smith enjoys reading, coffee, and listening to music.
Caroline Blakeman, Assistant News Editor
Caroline Blakeman is a sophomore pursuing a bachelor of arts in journalism. She is also an honors student. In her free time, she loves listening to classic rock, reading or taking naps.

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