Ever since the infamous mold situation last year, students that resided in, or are currently residing in either Caroline or Prince George’s Residence Halls, have noticed serious effects resulting from the demolition and cleanup of the buildings—post mold. The worst of these, if you ask any resident, is the noise between rooms. As a second-year resident of Caroline Hall I have grown incredibly frustrated with both mine and my roommate’s ability to hear both the neighbors next door and the residents two doors down from our room.
Sometimes it is because loud music is being played, and we are certainly guilty of that as well. However, the most common cause of irritation between ‘wall-mates’ is when you can hear full conversations spoken at a normal volume. There is no muffling of sounds between the cinderblock walls, only overheard conversations, the occasional sneeze, and certainly some overhead jokes that lighten the mood. Luckily for myself, I am friends with my ‘wall-mates’ and often will call over to the next room to ask if they want to play football or grab dinner, no door opening, no yelling, just asking in a regular speaking voice. Convenient right?
After becoming completely fed up with the lack of sound stifling walls, I decided to take my problems to Chip Jackson, current Associate Vice President for Planning and Facilities, and newly appointed Vice President for Business and Finance. I explained the current problem to him, citing hundreds of students who had voiced similar complaints to me. Jackson, while aware of the problem, did not seem to know where it came from. Whereas I had always thought it was from the lack of insulation in the walls after the removal of the mold, Jackson said that in fact no insulation was removed from the walls during cleanup.
He did, however, hypothesize that maybe the added plastic grates in place of two ceiling tiles, designed to allow air to flow above the ceiling tiles to reduce the possibility of mold, could be the cause. Another possibility he brought up was that the protruding wooden panels on a wall in a Caroline or PG room had to have its insulation and dry walling removed for cleaning, and of course was never put back. Finally, the last postulation and quite possibly the most troubling is that unbeknownst by many -including, until recently, Jackson- there are gaps in the cementing between rooms. Gaps large enough that a whole arm can fit through (do not try this at home). Upon this information coming to light, Jackson said he would work with his staff and Residence Life to try to understand and address the problem better.
So, for those of you also affected by accidental noise disturbances from the rooms in your hall, you are not alone. What is important to remember is that we as students recognize and discover a lot of problems that the administration may not know about. However, changes can only be made if we talk to the administration and voice our opinions. Hopefully, with Jackson and Residence Life’s new information on the matter, they can tackle this problem and return our rooms to the more peaceful settings they once were.