Boiler issues leave students in Juniper Hall without hot water


Main entrance of Juniper Hall located at Student Housing East complex, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. Photo by Tony Hernandez.

Alex Chapa-Kunz, News Editor

Students living in Juniper Hall located at CSU Bakersfield’s Student Housing East complex experienced a lack of hot water after two boilers required repairs. The first boiler caused 167 students to be without hot water from Oct. 5 to Oct. 16. The second boiler affected 287 students, and was down from Oct. 17 to Oct. 23, according to Jennifer Self, director of Public Affairs and Communications.  

  Tim Legault, a Juniper resident and a junior majoring in applied mathematics, said the initial boiler break was reported to students via notices posted on the affected bathroom doors, informing them of the lack of hot water. Following this notification was a series of emails which pushed back the date students were given for complete repairs.  

  “At a certain point it was a joke. You know, you’d be like ‘Oh, I got an email from housing. I wonder how late their pushing it out this time,’” Legault said.  

  Legault described the experience as frustrating, but said he enjoys living on campus and being around like-minded students. He is considering looking off campus for the next academic year so that he can have more space and his own kitchen. 

  Mike Simmons, sophomore history major, also lives in Juniper and feels a similar sense of community living in on-campus housing.  

  “It wasn’t so much not having hot water than annoyed me, its just that it took so long to fix. So very, very long. And even after they said it was fixed, I went in to take shower the next day and it was still cold,” Simmons said. While he feels something happens every semester in the dorms, this is the first instance for him that it was not an issue caused by a resident.   

  Students who were affected by the water issues explained that campus housing gave two options for accessing hot water during this time. By contacting a Resident Assistant or going to the front desk, students were able to check out a key to rooms that had hot water. Students were also told they could use the SRC facilities to access hot water.  

  “Not all students used the showers in the SRC; some used the showers in Pinyon Hall. We’re listening to students and the process is ongoing,” Self said.   

  “For the sake of the fact that I just didn’t want to deal with going anywhere else I just dealt with the cold showers,” Anthony Quintanilla said. Quintanilla, a junior majoring in criminal justice, previously attended CSU Northridge and lived on campus there, and said he appreciates the atmosphere of CSUB’s dorm life. 

  Legault shares a similar sentiment. “The events are fun. They have weekly events that the RAs throw and on the second floor, where I live, a bunch of people will gather in the lobby and hang out,” Legault shared.  

  Divyang Motavar, ASI Director of International Student Relations, said as an international student, oncampus housing has been a great place for him that allowed him to make connections with his fellow residents. Events put on for students living in campus housing are something Motavar also finds appealing.  

  “The beginning of the semester they had this speed friending thing, so they had students from housing come into the MPR and they had tables set up, and everyone had a minute to two minutes to talk about themselves,” Motavar said.    

  While students expressed frustration at the boiler issues, none indicated that the experience has affected their decision to remain in student housing in future academic years. Those sure they would be continuing to live on campus next academic year described the sense of community in student housing as being a factor in their choice to stay on campus.