Students angry about broken elevator in Red Jacket

Elevator in building four has not been working correctly all year


The elevator in Red Jacket building four has been malfunctioning since the beginning of the fall semester.

The building, which houses hundreds of students from the sixth floor to the tenth floor, only has two elevators. One services all ten floors while the other only has access to the first five floors. When the 10-floor elevator is malfunctioning, students are forced to take the stairs to the upper floors.

Senior Associate Director of Residential Facilities Kimberly Navarroli said Campus Living has received a “variety” of repair requests for the Red Jacket elevator ranging from entrapment due to occupants jumping inside to a need for repair to the transformer during this academic year.

She said Campus Living communicates with residents about issues with the elevator by posting signs for short term outages, sending emails and speaking at floor meetings about longer-term issues

The Office of Customer Service and Maintenance declined to comment.

Zachary Tenenbaum, a sophomore computer science major and Red Jacket resident, said the elevator’s inconsistent functioning has been frustrating.

“Throughout the entire year, I would say there has never been a span of three weeks where the elevator has worked fine,” Tenenbaum said. “During the first semester, when it would break, it wouldn’t be working for a few hours or at worst, a couple days.”

The Red Jacket office staff told Tenenbaum and his roommates the elevator would be fixed later that same day, a week before classes ended for spring break.

Tenenbaum said whenever a maintenance worker came to fix the elevator, the issue was far from resolved. Once repaired, the elevator would break down again a few hours later.

“We were legitimately furious with the situation,” Tenenbaum said. “We waited another week before it was finally fixed. At this time, we only had a couple days before spring break.”

Julian Roberts-Grmela, a sophomore English major and Red Jacket resident, found the elevator problem especially annoying whenever she had to do laundry. The laundry room is on the first floor and the stairs start on the second.

“If the elevator is not working and the [elevator] on the fifth floor broke, we’d have to take our laundry outside and walk around and go into the tunnel connected to our building to get to the laundry room,” she said.

Robert-Grmela estimates that when the elevator is out of service, getting down to the ground floor takes around ten minutes. When she complained, Campus Living told Roberts-Grmela that the elevator needed a custom part in order to be repaired.

“We all received emails from the admins apologizing and giving us their B.S. reasons, but promised that there would be a lot of improvements over the break.” Tenenbaum said.

Navarroli sent an email to all Red Jacket residents on March 14, saying she “sincerely apologizes” for any inconvenience and assured residents that Residential Facilities is working to get the elevator fixed.

“Although beyond annoying, it is important to know that these problems have not jeopardized your safety,” Navarroli told students in an email. “All elevators are regularly inspected by trained technicians, reviewed upon repair and are taken out of service at any sign of concern for further investigation.”

When visiting Red Jacket, The Spectrum found the elevator to be in working order as of March 27. Both Roberts-Grmela and Tenenbaum, however, have expressed concerns and doubts about the functionality of the elevator in the future.

Brian Evans is the assistant arts editor and can be reached at and @BrianEvansSpec.


Brian Evans is a senior English major and The Spectrum's senior arts editor.