The state of facilities of PPR have some residents expressing their discontent. The three building complex with a combined population of 116 students, home to mainly sophomores and juniors, is located not far from the construction of NPPR, which is set to be open for use in the upcoming semester. Some of the issues encountered by residents of the current complex, the most alarming being poor water quality, are thought to be attributed to the ongoing construction.
Jeffrey Tse ’19, a Green Advisor in Roberts, explained his discontent about living in his residence hall.
“I dislike Roberts and don’t spend much time there. The floors and walls are peeling and old. My blinds don’t cover the entire window and don’t really work. The radiators make a lot of noise and are awful. The basement is disgusting. It’s big which is nice, lots of space and the bathroom, albeit dirty is okay,” he said.
Daniel Siegelman ’19, another current Roberts resident, had mixed feelings.
“The bathrooms are kind of gross. It’s nice to have a personal bathroom, but it’s kind of moldy and not particularly nice, but whatever. There’s holes in some of the walls, but you can’t really do much about that,” he said.
Ty Clay ’18, a current resident of Dana, recounted his experience of living in Palmer last year as less than enjoyable.
“I didn’t like living in Palmer. There was no hall life: it was exceptionally quiet and it was absurdly hot. One time I almost had a heat stroke because it was just really hot. Around the first month or so we had to have four fans running at all times,” he said.
Clay went on to talk about an experience he said in regards to faulty pipes.
“[I] …didn’t really experience any mice or any bugs at all, and I lived very sloppily. Occasionally the pipes would howl. There was this one time where most of the people in our building had an investigation… we spent like 30 minutes wondering if we should call the cops or bust into someone’s room, but it was just the pipes,” he said.
Shortly after spring break when Roberts residents opened the taps in their bathrooms, the water either ran brown or didn’t flow at all.
“ I woke up in the morning and tried to get tap water, but all that came out was brown water. I left earlier, but my friends says that there was no water later,” Tse said.
Siegelman also experienced the same issue, explaining that it came with no prior warning.
“I turned on the tap and the water coming out was brown colored. I didn’t get an email about it, but apparently there was an email sent out about it to people who lived in Palmer and Pittenger saying that there was going to be some construction work and that it was going to affect the pipes. Roberts residents I don’t think received it, so it was a little surprising to turn on the tap and see brown water,” he said.
Unlike Roberts, residents in Pittenger and Palmer were forewarned about the change in water quality via email.
Neither Tse nor Siegelman contacted Swarthmore personnel to attend to the issue, as they assumed the issue would be temporary and would be resolved in time.
“I didn’t contact anyone because I figured it was probably just a temporary thing because I know they’re doing construction at New PPR. I went out to go to the gym and when I came back the water was totally fine. It would’ve been nice to receive an email about it, but it was a temporary thing,” Siegelman said.
Another Roberts resident, Maxine Annoh ’18, did not experience any changes in her water quality, despite her being on campus for the duration of break and the weeks that followed.
“That was not my experience, honey. After break, really? I don’t know what I was doing, but I didn’t see any brown water coming from my tap, and I was there the entire break, so I don’t know … Maybe I just wasn’t showering. But I was. I didn’t experience this,” she said.
There is no clear explanation as for why some residents in Roberts were affected by change in water quality while others were not. On the issue concerning the lack of a formal warning, Isaiah Thomas was contacted for comment but ultimately could not be reached. The problem with the water quality, however, has since been resolved.