Everyday life in the brand new Hatta building, mainly inhabited by international students, is far from hassle-free. Because of the many problems in the apartments, several residents decided to start a petition.
One of the perks of living on campus is the fact that you can leave your room five minutes before your lecture begins. At least, that’s how it should be. In the Hatta building, a failing elevator system often makes the elevator stop at every floor, causing major delays for the hurrying students.
This is just one of the many problems of the newly constructed campus building. Another major issue is the construction that produces loud noise from 7.30 in the morning. Because of other complaints about stench, water pressure, heating and many more, residents decided to start a committee. The committee, led by German student Henrik Schoch, made a list of fifteen problems. “Before we got here, the university promised us an ‘all-round carefree package’, but it has not been anything like that so far. A lot of facilities were poorly arranged, so we had to adjust them ourselves. There is no Wi-Fi so we had to buy a router, and the fridge was way too small for three persons. That’s why we also bought a bigger fridge”, Henrik says.
Because of the fairly high price – 550 euros a month -, the students demand better housing. That’s why they made a petition that goes throughout the entire building. At the moment, the committee has collected around 200 signatures, which is almost half of all the residents. Together with the list of complaints, the petition will be sent to SSH, the student housing organization in charge of the Hatta building. “There are a lot of problems that can easily be fixed right away. For the things that cannot be fixed, we want to see a reduction in rent”, Schoch explains the desires of the Hatta residents.
Dorota de Blanken from Vestia Stadswonen says the housing organizations are aware of the complaints, and that they want to fix things as soon as possible. “Three parties are involved in the Hatta building: SSH as the owner, Vestia as the developer and administrator and the EUR as the owner of the campus. Together, we are going to do our best to fix the problems we can fix. But we have also solved some of the problems already. Garbage is being disposed more frequently, there are strict checks on cleaning and the postal service runs smoothly now.”
Vestia and SSH deplore the defects, and admit they should have informed residents about start-up problems that can occur with a brand new building. Students with complaints say that SSH keeps forwarding them to external organizations. De Blanken: “We’re sorry about this, because we usually don’t work like that. We are looking for a good balance in the cooperation and communication between the three parties, and I think we can inform the students better now.” De Blanken says SSH and Vestia will inform the residents of the Hatta Building before November 15th, as they demanded.
Schoch thinks the university should put more pressure on SSH to fix the problems. “A well-organized housing for the internationals is also in the interest of the EUR, because complaints will affect the university’s popularity.” MvS
Read more on the complaints about the Hatta-building in EM #07, which appears on Thursday November 14th.