Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Facilities Management responds to thousands of work orders as well as keeping campus beautiful

Monday, October 1, 2012
Facilities Management employees pack up their truck after doing maintenance at the Alumni Center. Photo by Paul Stokes

Not every student living on campus is handy with a set of tools, so when a sink leaks or a desk drawer breaks students rely on placing work orders with Facilities Management to fix the problem.

However, fulfilling work orders is only a part of Facilities Management's work load, which can cause inconveniences for students needing a quick fix. Students place work orders in order to notify Facilities Management of something that needs to be fixed by visiting Facilities Management's iServiceDesk, or submitting one online at and following the onscreen instructions.

"You can go through there and post the description of the work you are wanting to have done," director of Facilities Management Angela Meyer said. "It routes through our department, and it gets assigned to the appropriate supervisor and they turn it over to whatever crew is available to take care of it."

Facilities Management consists of nine departments that have about 170 employees in charge of maintaining the work orders of approximately 3,000 students living on campus and 3 million square feet of campus facilities, Meyer said.

Many students like sophomore Michael Wittich, a Dearmont resident assistant, have experienced long waits for Facilities Management to fulfill their work order. Wittich waited three to four weeks to have the light in his dorm fixed after a worker was not able to figure out the problem.

"He [the worker] said he would be back a week later and then changed the status to finished," Wittich said. "He never came back, so I submitted another work order and a week and a half later they showed up and did the exact same thing as the first guy. I told him I wanted my light, and I wanted it soon."

Wittich said the light was replaced the next morning.

For the 2012 fiscal year, Facilities Management fulfilled 13,000 work orders along with maintaining building and outdoor cleanliness, grooming the athletic fields, and distributing steam in the boiler plant for heating and hot water across campus, as well as numerous other responsibilities.

"I think one of the things that I would like to hope that students would appreciate is that we can't always be there," Meyer said. "With an understanding of the amount of workload we have to maintain, and the number of people that I have, I can't always be there, my staff can't always be there."

Meyer said re-submitting a work order through the iServiceDesk will not speed up the process of Facilities Management fulfilling a job.

"Duplication does not speed up the process so once you submit it, feel free to call our department and verify," Meyer said. "You can also go online and see if the work order is processed."

Facilities Management can be contacted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling 573-651-2214.

Although freshman Kacie McGauley, a Dearmont resident, had her work order fulfilled in a day, Facilities Management came to fix her leaky sink when she was not in her room. The worker came in anyway, she said.

"When I found out, it was weird to know someone was in my room without leaving a trace," McGauley said.

Facilities Management has keys to every room, so workers can get into the rooms any time in case of an emergency, whether the student has submitted a work order or not. Facilities Management works closely with Residence Life so they are aware if an emergency situation occurs, Meyer said.

"We try to leave a door tag that lets you know that we've been in and it gives you the maintenance information, and it also gives a number that they [students] can call back if they have any questions," Meyer said. "It should be a standard practice."

McGauley said she did not receive any type of door tag or note.

For students who are uncomfortable with having a worker in their room while they are gone, Meyer said students should list a time when they will be in their room in the description of the work request when they submit the work order online.

"That just gives us an opportunity for better communication that way you actually feel like we've been on the job," Meyer said.

Facilities Management is a 24/7 operation with little downtime and a maintenance repair or construction project going on at all times, which makes it difficult to keep up with students' needs, Meyer said.

"When we are trying to do preventative maintenance and they [students] are wanting us to respond to their particular need, those two don't always go accordingly," Meyer said. "They can conflict sometimes."