On campus residents express their concerns about trash overflow, janitorial and housing maintenance.
Several Long Beach State housing residents have reported trash overflow and janitorial maintenance issues throughout the dorms.
According to Corry Colonna, the Executive Director of Housing & Residential Life, all housing villages experienced trash overflow, the most being at the recently opened Parkside North College Dormitory.
Colonna said COVID-19 and the recent omicron variant have been major factors contributing to these issues, causing staff problems throughout the housing department.
“We have been short-staffed,” he said. “An increase in using disposable food containers and a decrease in staff due to COVID-19 made it a challenge to keep up with trash removal.”
In response to COVID-19, dining halls made the switch to disposable to-go containers. This change left trash overfilled throughout the dining halls.
Tyler Bush, a first-year creative writing major currently living in Parkside North, said that there was often no other choice but to add to the overflow.
“Where do [they] want us to put [the trash] if we’re getting three meals a day?” Bush questioned. “You fit five [to-go boxes] in one trash can, then you’ll have to take it, and you’ll always be unloading and reloading the trash.“
CSULB dining halls offer recyclable to-go boxes, and their trash overflow plus staffing issues “has significantly reduced this semester,” according to Colonna.
“Now that the dining hall is fully staffed, we have [re-started] using recycled to-go containers,” he said. “Students are back eating in the dining halls, [so] it appears to not be an issue anymore.”
Some dorm residents, however, feel that the housing department may not be listening to their concerns.
Makenzie Willemse, a first-year criminal justice major is a Parkside North resident who said the dorms’ maintenance “is not [really] on top of things.”
“My air conditioning makes a loud noise that’s really annoying, and [the housing department] were just like, ‘Sorry, we can’t do anything. It’s under warranty,'” Willemse said.
The dorms’ air conditioning warranty agreement places responsibility on an outside construction company within the first year of service in dorms such as Parkside North, Hillside Gateway and Los Alamitos instead of the university housing’s maintenance, according to Colonna.
“This [process], at times, can slow down the repair process,” he said. “[Because] the construction companies and their subcontractors are not here at all times.”
Other CSULB housing residents have also noticed hygienic issues in the dorm restrooms.
Juliana Reeves, a fourth-year management and operations supply chain management major is a Beachside dorm resident and said the spring semester’s cleaning service was inconsistent.
“It took a month after we moved in for workers to come and clean the restroom,” Reeves said.
Colonna said the housing department is currently working on hiring more custodians, as well as “floaters who can fill in for staff who call out sick in Parkside North.”
With these new plans in place, Colonna said many of these issues are being resolved.
“I can’t say we have any [other] significant issues now,” Colonna said. “Let’s hope it stays that way. With aging buildings, it is never a certainty.”