By Connor Vogt
The phones rang lonely in the office of Peter Lipka, the Residence Hall Director of the South Residence Complex on Jan. 23. A group of resident students were without heat prior to Tuesday’s arrival of snow- storm Juno. Nick Lucidi, a senior Accounting major and resident in the South Residence Complex, reported the issue with the heating system the Friday prior to Juno’s arrival on Jan. 26.
Lucidi had noticed the thermostat in the common area of room B34 was off. “The temperature fell noticeably,” he said. His initial call was to Lipka, who, Lucidi said, failed to answer or follow up after he left a message. Lipka, who is also an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team, did not respond to The Pioneer’s request for comment.
Dormitory residents are instructed to call their Residence Hall Director if they have any issues with the room, according to Lucidi. “At first it wasn’t a big deal, it wasn’t too cold, but we didn’t want to have no heat when the big storm came,” Lucidi said. Lipka said he was traveling with the basketball team for a majority of the weekend, which is why he failed to communicate back with the complaint.
Lucidi, along with the others in Suite B34, Phil Armato, a senior Accounting major, and Vincent Branciforte, a junior Graphic Design major, grew anxious as Juno was approaching.
The next call was to Public Safety, who, Lucidi said, “claimed to have reported it to the facilities department.” By Monday, Jan. 26, the South Residence Complex was still without heat when the snow began to fall. “I was hoping to have the issue resolved before the storm,” Branciforte said.
With Juno at its peak and the heat still not working, Lucidi made one final attempt to get the problem solved. This time, he called the Facilities department directly. He said they were shocked to hear about the issue, claiming, “no one reported it to us.” Within two hours, the chief engineer arrived in the dorm room.
When Lucidi asked the engineer about the issue, the engineer said he shut it off because they were getting complaints that it was too hot in the building. With the flip of a switch, the engineer turned the heat and fans back on as per request of Lucidi and his suitemates.
“This is a recurring issue at Post,” Branciforte said. “Everyone claims to want to help you, but if you don’t make it happen, nothing will change. If Nick never called Facilities directly, we would have been without heat for the entirety of the storm.”
Facilities was unable to comment on the matter.