Rundown apartments bring laughs, frustration to students


    By Allison Benne

    Cupboards falling off walls is usually no laughing matter. Sometimes in off-campus housing, laughing is all students can do when something in the apartment breaks.

    Otherwise, it”s simply frustrating.

    Katie Bennett, 23, a senior from Clemmons, N.C. majoring in marriage, family and human development, and her roommates laugh a lot.

    One Sunday as Bennett reached into a cupboard to get a dish, the entire cupboard fell off the wall onto her. “The next thing I know, all of our dishes fell,” she said. “All of the glass shattered around me.”

    Luckily, she caught the cupboard so it did not fall on her head. She didn”t catch the dishes.

    Except for those in the dishwasher, every plate, glass and casserole dish in the apartment fell around Bennett and broke. Thankfully, a Harry Potter mug is fixable — only the handle broke off.

    Bennett and her roommates can only laugh. “We left the broken pottery in a box and kick it when we walk by. We just laugh at everything,” said Jessica Stromberg, 19, a sophomore from Farmington, Conn. majoring in elementary education.

    They have plenty of other things to amuse them too.

    The first night in their new condominium, the blinds fell off the bedroom windows. The air conditioner didn”t work for a week. Neither did the door locks. The toilet clogged. They couldn”t turn off a bedroom light without unscrewing the light bulb.

    “It”s funny, because it”s a nice place,” said Andrea Bailey, 20, a senior from Salt Lake City, majoring in physical education.

    Laughter comes easier because their landlord fixes problems quickly. “He comes right away,” Bailey said.

    If not, they said, they would be frustrated.

    Mary Campbell, 19, a sophomore from Overland Park, Kan. majoring in international studies, knows that feeling.

    The toilet in her apartment is constantly breaking, she said.

    In addition, the pipes underneath her sink leaked everytime the water ran. She and her roommates kept a bucket under the sink. Eventually, the bucket “full of foul-smelling stuff” overflowed, Campbell said.

    The sink was not repaired for four days, even though Campbell called her complex”s emergency line and main office.

    “I really wouldn”t mind as much if they fixed it faster. The fact that it keeps happening over and over is frustrating. The fact that it takes a long time to fix it is even more frustrating,” Campbell said.

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