Their purpose may be to quickly transport students up and down university buildings, but the 31 elevators on the Seton Hall Campus and at Turrell and Ora Manor have the opposite effect when students get stuck in them.
Brittany Doomany, a senior, was stuck in an elevator on the south side of Boland Hall when she was a freshman. “I didn’t have my phone on me and I was alone in the elevator,” Doomany said. “I freaked out because I was in there for what seemed like five to ten minutes.”
Problems with elevators occur throughout the year, particularly in the residential hall buildings.
John Signorello, associate vice president for Facilities and Operations and for Facilities and Business Affairs, said the number of times this situation happens each year fluctuates. Signorello says it varies depending on the size of the building and the use of the elevator.
“In a building as large as Xavier Hall, there may be a trouble ticket once or twice a month, (while) in a building as small as Ora Manor, maybe once or twice every six months,” Signorello said.
To decrease the number of these incidents the University has a maintenance contract with the Otis elevator company to take select elevators out of service for major repairs and maintenance each summer, said Signorello. Elevator replacements to prevent malfunctions are not currently scheduled for any time soon.
Sergio Oliva, assistant director of Administrative Services for the Department of Public Safety, said students who find themselves stuck in an elevator should, “pick up the phone, stay calm, call (Public Safety) and wait.” The call button located in every elevator dials directly to Public Safety, who notifies the South Orange Village Fire Department.
“Typically the doors open before the fire department gets there, but if they don’t, the fire department will open the door,” Oliva said. “We will notify Facilities Engineering, (who then) notifies elevator repairs.”
Doomany says the Department of Public Safety was helpful when she got stuck in the Boland Hall elevator a few years ago, and they stayed on the line until she felt comfortable. “The respondent arrived to the elevator a lot quicker than I was expecting,” Doomany said.
Diana Kim can be reached email@example.com.