Miami University’s on-campus apartment complex, Heritage Commons, has seen its share of ups and downs during its two-year history.
In the fall of 2005, a delay in construction forced students who arrived on campus earlier than Aug. 18 to temporarily live in Anderson Hall before moving into the complex.
And now some residents are now complaining about the quality of amenities and overall state of the apartments.
Senior Devika Malhorta explained how her air conditioning is typically 10 degrees off the current temperature, that her walls are crooked in the apartment and the university provided couches are uncomfortable.
“Everything is cheap – it may look nice but it is all cheap,” Malhorta said.
In regards to signing to live in Heritage Commons for a second year, Malhorta regrets her decision.
“I wish I had moved to College Suites,” she said.
Junior Erica Mayfield and her roommates have also experienced some problems in their Heritage Commons apartment.
“We’ve noticed that the walls are really thin and we can hear everything that our neighbors are saying,” Mayfield said.
She also explained an incident that occurred in her apartment last year while her current roommates were living in the complex, in which a fire extinguisher was leaking and sent water trickling down the walls, pooling on the floor.
It was a huge inconvenience, she said, but added that the university has been generally receptive with responding to complaints.
“(The university does) their best to stay on top of everything they can,” Mayfield said.
Due to the construction delay, one junior explained that the quality of the apartments has suffered.
“At first, the stove didn’t work and we had no counter space with our microwave,” said Ryan Meyer, a junior who resides in the apartment complex.
Although Meyer experienced problems with his apartment, he said he did not regret living at Heritage Commons.
“I (feel it was worth it) because I cook every day,” he said. “It’s worth it for that.”
Another reason Meyer said he continues to live there is that Heritage Commons provides many of the same amenities as other apartment complexes in Oxford, but has a location with an inherent edge over its competition.
“(Heritage Commons’) most attractive feature is that it’s walking distance from everything,” Meyer said. “It’s still located on campus.”
The split between on- and off-campus living is how the university has been marketing Heritage Commons to students, as the complex gives a new option to students looking for more than a typical residence hall. The room rates for the apartments during the 2007-08 academic year have been set at $4,075 for a private room. Students can choose to have a meal plan as well.
“Upperclassmen want (the option of on-campus apartments),” said Pete Miller, senior assistant vice president for auxiliary enterprises. “There are plenty of juniors and seniors wanting to live (in Heritage Commons).”
In response to complaints of the quality of the complex officials from Housing, Dining and Meal Plan Services said they have had no negative responses.
Larry Fink, assistant vice president of auxiliary enterprises and housing said that he has received a lot of positive feedback from students living in Heritage Commons.
Lucinda Coveney, director of housing contracts and meal plans, agreed.
“They’re very popular and very sought after,” Coveney said.
And not all students have reported problems with Heritage Commons.
Junior Emily Yeager also said she enjoys living at complex.
Yeager said that she has not noticed a problem with kitchen
appliances and that any maintenance requests she submits are answered in a timely manner.
She added that although she has noticed a few problems with her apartment, nothing major has been wrong with it.
“I noticed a draft in the window, but its probably because my bed is next to it,” Yeager said. “(Also) the paint comes off easily, but part of that may be me.”
Yeager said she has loved living in the complex for the past two years, even though she will be living in a house next year.
Heritage Commons has the capacity to hold 430 students and has generally been filled during the first two years, according to Fink.