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EC To Be Compensated for Summer Damages

By Naveen Sunkavally


After summer repairs meant to upgrade fire safety systems left their dorm in a state of disarray, residents of East Campus have made arrangements with MIT to compensate for thrown out belongings, painted-over murals, and damaged furniture.

Karen A. Nilsson, associate director for operations, said that graduate resident tutors (GRTs) on each hall will compile a list of complaints from students, which will be reviewed next week to determine the appropriate compensation.

East Campus President Brandy L. Evans ’01 described the situation after renovations as “generally a huge problem.”

“The GRTs were upset about it, the students were upset about it, the house manager was upset about it: basically, everyone was saying, ‘this is bad,’” Evans said.

Nilsson said that the problem first came to her attention after the project’s completion, when residents and administrators became aware of multiple instances of graffiti.

Evans said that the murals, a signature characteristic of EC, had been “defaced [with] some really obscene things.” Also, “I know that some GRTs had some personal items stolen. Students have found things missing. For instance, on my lounge the carpet is gone,” Evans said.

Students have also complained about the sudden appearance of many sprinkler pipes, which have made the dorm less attractive. “I know the pipes are not glamorous, [but] the fire alarm system is important for the dorm,” Evans said.

Source of compensation uncertain

East Campus residents will receive compensation for damage done to both personal and dormitory property.

“We’re going to claim as much as possible,” said EC resident Charlene St. Pierre ’03.

Irreplaceable items such as murals will be compensated for by the purchase of paint and supplies to patch them up, Nilsson said.

However, compensation will not necessarily be provided for all lost items. Items that did not previously meet fire code, such as furniture with exposed stuffing, will not necessarily be compensated, Nilsson said. She said that MIT is working on ways to replace the old furniture to brighten up the dorm.

In addition, it has not yet been decided where the compensation that will be given to students will come from. “One of our difficulties is that we don’t know who did these things,” Nilsson said.

Nilsson said that one alternative would be to charge the compensation directly to the renovations project budget. Other options could be to charge the contractor or to cover the cost with MIT insurance, Nilsson said.

Random satisfied with renovations

Like East Campus, Random Hall received renovations this summer to upgrade its fire safety systems.

However, unlike at East Campus, “there have been no complaints from Random,” Nilsson said. “As far as I know Random is in good shape.”

Part of the reason may be that, while East Campus and Random had the same supervising contractor, Kennedy and Brown, the two dorms had different subcontractors.

Nilsson also said another reason for the lack of complaints at Random is that the “magnitude of the jobs were very different.”

There were a “hundred times more complications at East Campus than at Random,” Nilsson said.