Students criticize FAU Housing shutting down A/C and elevators on short notice

The last-minute announcement on Wednesday caused inconvenience and worry for students living on campus, as they prepared for Hurricane Nicole.

Ma. Emilia Santander, Copy Desk Chief

Editor’s Note: As of Nov. 10 at 1:06 p.m., FAU Housing and students confirmed functions have resumed.  

On Wednesday, Florida Atlantic University’s Department of Housing and Residential Education (DHRE) sent an email informing residents that elevators and air conditioning (A/C) units will be turned off in preparation for Hurricane Nicole. 

The National Hurricane Center reports that Nicole is currently a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

According to the email, Atlantic Park Towers (APT), Heritage Park Towers (HPT), Glades Park Towers (GPT) and Indian River Towers (IRT) turned off their elevators at 1 p.m. Parliament Hall (PH) and Innovation Village Apartments North (IVA-N) and South (IVA-S) had the elevators shut down at 2 p.m. University Village Apartments’ (UVA) elevators switched off at 3 p.m. All A/C units powered down at 1 p.m.

This came as a shock to students living on campus, who expressed their concerns with the short notice of these measures. 

Katelyn Delacruz, a freshman majoring in communication living in APT, fears that elevators being out of service might leave her stuck in her dorm. Additionally, she said she would have liked more than a two-hour notice.

Iris Delahoussaye, a freshman business major living in HPT, said a resident assistant informed her of the announcement before receiving the email. 

She believes the announcement should have been put out Tuesday, the day FAU announced there will be no classes for the remainder of the week due to Hurricane Nicole. 

“That way students who lived close enough to campus where it would make sense to go home for the storm had more time to make that choice with their parents or whoever they live with,” said Delahoussaye. “Also, so that those of us who were choosing to stick around for the storm on campus had time to do any last-minute supply gathering, or doing laundry, or anything that would require moving something bigger than a backpack up and down the stairs with them.” 

According to Joshua Glanzer, a university spokesperson, other precautions have been taken for the safety of students, such as emergency generators. 

Functions are estimated to resume on Thursday afternoon, but it will most likely depend on the assessment of the facilities once the storm leaves the area, according to Glanzer. 

Kyara Jean, a junior psychology major living in IVA-N, was unable to prepare with the short notice and has not received any information, or updates, since the email was sent. 

“I don’t feel that safe because it would take longer to get downstairs without having access to elevators,” said Jean. 

Housing staff confirmed that stairs are accessible at any time.  

Beth German, a junior in health administration living in UVA, believes the measures are sudden and “weird” due to the intensity of the storm, but will be alright as long as there is electricity. 

In regards to housing in hotel rooms, the DHRE is communicating with hotel management to ensure that students are following safety protocols.

Ma. Emilia Santander is the Copy Desk Chief at the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, you can reach her on Instagram @emilias_ed or email her at [email protected].