Chatham University has trouble keeping up with increasing maintenance requests, understaffed department in comparison to growing incoming classes.

By Haley Daugherty

Scalding water, creepy crawlies and icy steps. These are just some of the issues the Chatham University maintenance staff works tirelessly to fix on campus.

It seems like lately, though, some problems in the dorm halls have slipped through the cracks.

“We noticed a spider problem throughout our room,” said Mahima Sangtani ’23, who lives in Dilworth Hall. “Once it got really bad, we decided to put in a work order to get the infestation taken care of. This was a little over a month ago, and no one has come to help us.”

Dilworth is one of the five dormitories on the Shadyside campus, but students in all campus environments struggle with work orders not being filled.

Sangtani and other residents of Dilworth Hall have experienced other unanswered work orders, too.

“Our water fountain at the end of the hall has needed its filter replaced since orientation,” Sangtani added.

However, Dilworth resident adviser Andrew Greco ’21 said that most work orders put in by his residents have been taken care of.

“From my eyes, since classes started, in Dilworth alone, I’ve seen around five to six [work orders] be placed … I do not receive any information about work orders that do not pertain to my residents,” he said. “Examples of work orders that have been completed include leaking ceilings, removing closet doors and fixing closet doors.”

So why do some students feel as though their requests are going unanswered?

According to Robert DuBray, Assistant President of Facilities Management and Public Safety, the University is coming up on its busiest season of the year.

“We get about 40,000 requests for service per [school] year,” he said. “We have 10 people on staff to complete those work orders.” That equates to 10 people to cover approximately 1,100 requests a week.

The limited staff strives to complete the orders within the month they are submitted. There are two electricians, two master plumbers, one heating and cooling technician, two painters, two carpenters and one locksmith on call at all times.

“We prioritize things by importance,” DuBray said. “It goes life safety, operational function, convenience and then cosmetic repairs.”

After work orders are prioritized, the technicians on call set out to help students. They are also in charge of salting and plowing the stairs and sidewalks on and around the campus in the winter.

“We have a talented and hardworking group of guys here,” DuBray added. “These guys can do just about anything. I would put them up against any other staff at another University.”

Students who need assistance in their rooms, dorm halls or apartments can submit a request for service to their resident adviser, their graduate resident director or submit a work order through the ChathamU app or at If they are unable to reach anyone, they can reach out to the maintenance facilities in the Rea Garage.