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Honors College Students Went Without Hot Water For Two Weeks

Mechanical Issues Hindered Hot Water in New, Luxury Dormitory
Honors College
The Rutgers "Honors College" housing DEVCO

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Even students in one of Rutgers University's newest buildings caught the famous “RU Screw” during the most recent school year.

Residents of the new luxury on-campus apartments were reportedly without warm water for two weeks in February, according to the Daily Targum.

That came on top of other problems, such as the cockroach infestation inside nearby Clothier Hall, and the problems with heat and hot water in Livingston campus' Quad II.

The "Honors College" is the 500-bed, high-end apartments for high-achieving first-year students, which along with the Rutgers Academic Building and “The Yard” apartments, were part of a $300 million redevelopment plan for College Avenue.

Chris Paladino, President of the development company that built the project, New Brunswick Development Corporation, better known as DEVCO, told NBToday, “Yeah, we’re gonna look into it. I’m surprised, but I will look into it.”

While the situation eventually improved, many students were forced to shower with cold or lukewarm water, said School of Arts and Sciences first-year Ankush De.

John F. Shulack, vice president of University Facilities, said the problem was identified and addressed on Monday. One of the two boilers in the buildings experienced mechanical and control issues, which caused the shortage.

While the university waited for parts to fix the boiler to arrive, the second boiler was adjusted to carry the load for the entire building.

The students, who enjoy higher living standards than other Rutgers freshmen, with air conditioning, carpeting, on-site academic advising, and administrative support were not hesitant to post their complaints online.  

One-hundred students either “liked” or “reacted” to a Facebook post made in the “New Brunswick Honors College Class of 2020” Facebook group. 

“Is anyone else having ice cold showers” a Rutgers Honors College student asked. “Because it’s gotten to the point where I’d rather sit in my own filth than shower.”

At a student government meeting, sophomore Adeel Ahmed asked University President Robert Barchi why it took so long to identify the problem that had been ongoing at the Honors College for two weeks.

“We have some serious issues here, much worse in Newark right now, with outdated facilities for generating steam hot water power," Barchi responded. "The one on the college campus has to be taken out of commission, basically.”

Now, the Honors College, which has only been around since the Fall 2015 semester, is not the only building without hot water.

Around the same time, the Easton Avenue Apartments, another one of Rutgers’ luxury apartment buildings, went without any water for part of today.

An email sent to the building's residents said that the water would be “shut down” between 9am and 1pm on February 24.

From the email: “This means you will NOT be able to flush, run kitchen water, use the sinks, or shower. Please plan accordingly. After the shutdown is over, the water may have a brown tint. Please run the water for a few minutes until it clears up. This is not harmful. When water is shut down, sediments settle and when the water is resume, the sediments are then pushed through the pipes. 

The email concludes: “We apologize for the inconvenience and the short notice.”