Elevate the permits

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Photo Illustration by Luis Solis

May 15, 2014

When members of the Viewpoints staff took a walk around the campus of Riverside City College, we noticed a number of beautiful and historic buildings on campus that have been kept up to date, but even then there are still flaws.

For all that is maintained on campus, one thing that is often overlooked by maintenance appears to be the elevators on campus. Frankly, some of them smell like dumpsters and shake like an earthquake.

Take a look around the inside of the elevators  and you may notice the permits for the respective elevators and will notice the inspection date and the date in which those permits expire.

These dates may be cause for concern when students notice how far back some of the elevators they use every day may have last been checked.

The elevator near the art building has to rank amongst the poorest elevators on campus and the lack of an updated permit speaks to that. Recently, we rode the elevator and noticed the expiration date on the permit was May 8, 2012.

One of our members thought maybe the dirty and shaky elevator was up to date after all when he saw a temporary permit on it, but after a careful inspection that permit had expired May 8, 2013.

The lack of an updated permit should bring up cause for concern for elevators on the RCC campus. How safe should students feel about the lack of care for elevators?

Members of our staff also noticed that at least two elevators, both of which were installed next to or inside the renovated Wheelock Gymnasium, have both recently been inspected and given an expiration date as of March 6, 2014 and given a follow-up date as of March 24, 2014.

Coincidence or not, one of the most frequently used elevators is the one located near Terracina Drive in the parking structure, which expired March 7, just one day after the Wheelock Gym elevators had expired. This begs the question, why wasn’t the most frequently used elevator given an updated permit? The wear and tear on the elevator shows its lack of maintenance and attention. The gum on the floor, the shaky ride down the five levels of the parking structure and the scratched out screen on the inside that tells you what floor the elevator is on.

In addition to the mess inside the elevators, on two separate occasions during the winter semester a person (presumably homeless) was found camping over night.

The safe thing to do would be to take the stairs, however, what if the stairs were not a option for students if they were put into this situation?

The problems do not stop there for the elevators on our campus. There have been times when the elevators do not work at all and students have gotten stuck inside.

Members of our staff have experienced this in one of the Wheelock Gym’s elevators during the 2013 summer session. They were stuck for at least 30 minutes before help arrived because maintenance service had to drive from an off campus location. This alone should worry students. If one of the new elevators can stop working, what would prevent older elevators from breaking down, especially with the lack of an inspection according to the dates on the permit.

It is unacceptable for students have to feel unsafe and skeptical about the elevators they have to use to get to class. What happens if a student gets stuck in one of the elevators and is late for class? Will help be available?

Prevention of an accident is always the solution, but how long will the permits stay expired before someone other than the students notice.