On Nov. 2, an email was sent out to students living on-campus from the University of Rhode Island’s Housing and Residential Life (HRL) department, urging them to report any issues they have in their rooms.
The email reassures students that their needs are the utmost priority, saying how dedicated HRL is to providing safe accommodations to all students living on campus. Dr. Jeffrey Plouffe is the associate director for HRL and has been in this position for 16 years.
Plouffe wanted to urge students to speak up about any troubles and fixtures they need assistance with as they can only help for the situations they are notified about.
“As the semester goes on, doors wear out, locks wear out, faucets wear out, showers wear out and they need to get reported,” Plouffe said. According to Plouffe, calls have been coming in but not in the proper way that they need to be, slipping past the HRL and Facilities departments.
The process in which work orders are handled are supposed to go in this order: The student has a problem which gets reported to the Resident Advisor (RA), the RA then uses an online software called Tririga, which requests service and processes into a work order for the specific trade that needs to service that specific issue. This way, work orders get completed in the quickest fashion and the problem is fully dealt with.
During his time at URI, Plouffe has created a number of programs to ensure that maintenance is properly satisfying the student. One of which is the Facility Services Quality Assurance. In the event that you report something and have received no assistance, the student can call the customer service line for HRL and they will reach out to Plouffe to remedy the situation.
“We follow up and make sure that we get the right information and pass it onto the student,” Plouffe said. ”It is often said that if you call 874-4151, I’ll be in your room to find out exactly what your needs are and if your needs are immediate, it will get fixed that day.”
In addition to the previous program. Plouffe has worked to combat many other issues so that students never even have to encounter this specific problem. For example, around six years ago, Plouffe created the Integrated Pest Management program in which pest control was sent to places where pests originate to eliminate the threat there, halting its chances of infesting the residence halls.
Overall, Plouffe’s main message to students was to report issues so that they can be properly dealt with.
“Buildings experience wear and tear,” Plouffe said. “We want to meet all of the facility needs. The best way to help yourself is to quickly report the problems.”
Housing and Residential Life pays close attention to what incidents are actually reported as they use that data to properly allocate resources to best serve the student population. Plouffe has made himself available for discussion at any and all moments to keep open lines of communication between himself and those that he is tasked with serving.