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Housing Problems Persist At Columbia College

Columbia, CA — Student complaints regarding excessive noise, use of alcohol and drugs and trash left unattended continue at Columbia College´s on-campus apartment complex.

Modesto student Spike Lewis says, according to the student handbook, “quiet hours” shall be in effect from 9pm – 9am and yet he has been able to hear the excessive noise from music from as far away as half the distance to the guard shack located at the campus´ main entrance. In addition management refused to reimburse him for shelving that he purchased because it was never installed prior to his movein date. Lewis adds that it is not uncommon to find beer bottles strewn over the grounds. Also he says that trash bags are not disposed of in a timely manner by management creating a potential health hazard.

Shawna Conley, a student from Santa Clara, maintains that she has been forced to wear ear plugs during study hours because of the excessive noise. She asked the residents one floor above to curtail the noise and their comment was, “it´s not our problem that you live beneath us.” In addition she says the odor of drugs has permeated her and her roomate´s apartment through the vents. She and her roomate are moving out in the very near future.

Nicole Smith, a student from Vallecito, maintains a water pipe from an upstairs shower broke and flooded her apartment. Not only did management refuse to help with the cleanup, but the repair was not made in a timely manner.

Apartment manager Samantha Huebner maintains that any students found guilty of drug and or alcohol abuse will be immediately evicted. She added that often times students do not properly report maintenance problems and then wonder why repairs are not taken care of in a timely manner. She added that she is willing to work with college officials in an effort to afford the students a reasonable housing experience.

The persistant problems have even reached the office of college President Dr. Joan Smith. She states that the college owns the land, but the complex is operated by Pogacar Properties of Sacramento on an agreement running through 2024. Because of the problems college security has been called on a number of occasions and at college expense, brush was cleared to form a defensible fire safety space.

Smith adds the college is attempting to work with complex management to improve the living conditions for the students. Columbia College is seeking a complete audit from Pogacar Properties. If improvements are not completed in a timely manner, Smith says the matter will be turned over to legal counsel through the Yosemite Community College District.

Written by Bill Johnson