OP-EDS

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January 13, 2006

Fix I-House Now

In late October of last year, the Maroon reported that noxious fumes were adversely affecting I-House residents. Months later, these fumes—and the multitude of problems and inconveniences they have caused—have continued to go unaddressed by University staff and administration.

The residents of I-House have come to the University of Chicago—often from half a world away—to learn, and they have chosen university housing for its convenience and comfort. However, these fumes are merely the latest occurrence in a string of negative happenings at I-House, including residents’ forced removal last summer while the building was being renovated. This prompts the question—if these were Max Palevsky residents complaining about noxious fumes, would the matter have been addressed sooner? I-House is as much a University-owned and operated residence hall as any other, and its student residents should be treated with the respect they deserve.

There are many ways to fix the radiator fumes. If space heaters are not an option, as has been claimed, the paint in question should be stripped and a better replacement applied. The latter alternative might prove more costly than ignoring the problem, but in the long run, students’ lives will be enhanced—to the level they should have been at from the beginning.

These fumes are a problem that should be addressed, but the University has done little to answer the concerns voiced by multiple individuals. Having a safe, comfortable place to relax at the end of the day should be expected, or, when not met, demanded by students.