Monday, May 20

Construction, concerns heard


Ongoing construction is a given when attending UCLA, but more
recently, students have been finding out that they are not immune
to construction even at the residential halls.

Fortunately, outlets are available for students who want to
voice complaints about construction.

A construction mitigator position has been created to help
dormitory residents better understand the construction going on
around them.

Erik Carlstone, this year’s construction mitigator,
recognizes student concerns and, if possible, tries to resolve
student complaints.

The Housing administration has limited influence over
construction at the residential halls.

“I have been really impressed with the
administration’s concerns, but it is difficult to change
things when the initial contract has been set for (construction to
start weekdays) at 7 a.m.,” Carlstone said.

Construction must go on because of a projected influx of
students within the next decade, Carlstone said.

Construction complies with certain deadlines, he said, which is
why it is difficult to comply with student requests that
construction starts at the end of the year.

“The university is committed to having housing available
for incoming students,” he said.

Several things have been done to recognize that construction is
going on and that students have been troubled.

“Candy was put out by the elevators at Sproul to recognize
that we know what’s going on and we know it’s
inconvenient,” Carlstone said.

Though aid is provided by the Housing Administration to deal
with the noise, residents are also asked to help reduce noise for
themselves.

Earplugs are available at the front desks of Sproul Hall and the
Sunset Village and residents are asked to close their windows in
order to decrease the amount of noise, Carlstone said.

Students can also relay complaints through the external vice
president of a residential hall, who redirects concerns to an
on-campus housing council that meets weekly, Carlstone said.

Construction complaints go to the construction mitigator through
a Sunset Village hotline currently in place. Next year, calls will
be directed to the Hedrick front desk.

At Hedrick, the parking lot has been demolished, trees have been
cut down and parts of the curb and gutter have been removed. The
site is being prepared for the Hedrick North high rise.

The construction at Hedrick poses some difficulties for the
building’s residents. 

“These dorms aren’t well ventilated, so you’ll
want to open the window,” said Chase Rabenn, a first-year
undeclared student. “You can either sleep in the heat, or you
can hear noises like a truck backing up or a tree getting cut
down.”

The construction at Hedrick, however, is hardly noticeable for
other residents.

“Because I live all the way down the hall on the south
side, I don’t hear any construction,” said Anita Yip, a
first-year undeclared student. 

Hedrick construction has influenced the mood of dorm
residents.

“You feel like you’re in a prison,” Rabenn
said, in reference to the fences surrounding the construction
sites. 

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