By Joshua Clement, Ashley Flores, Brittany Fugate
An expired inspection certificate stands erect in the CSUSB University Hall elevator. The permit shows that it has an expiration date of 11/13/2020, last being inspected back in 11/13/2019. Photo by Ashley Flores
Safety fears have engulfed the CSUSB community after learning that most elevators on campus operate with expired inspection licenses. The California Department of Industrial Relations under the Division of Occupational Safety and Health requires that all in-service elevators post a certificate that is valid. Of all the buildings investigated, only the Manuel Santo’s new elevators have a valid license, but expiring this year in October, 2022. The rest have their inspection licenses due for renewal since 2020.
Lea Vargas, a Sophomore at CSUSB narrates how she uses the elevator on a daily basis:
“I use the elevator to get to almost all my classes, and work on the third floor of the University Hall. It is, therefore, scary to learn that the elevator I use every day has an expired license. I think something has to be done as soon as possible, especially that campus is continuously trying to bring everyone back in person”.
A chat with many other community members suggests that most of them do not pay attention to the licensing and expiration dates. Students and staff at the John M. Pfau Library said that they would never have noticed if it was not for the reporter. “We use this elevator every day but because we are only there for a few minutes, it is unlikely that we read such kind of information. Therefore, we are glad that this was brought to our attention…personally, I am now scared and I will always be conscious when using the elevator, says a Library staff.
Audrey Carrion, a facilities worker, also narrates her experience saying that she was not aware of the expired certification even when she cleans the facilities every day. “Damn! How did I miss that? This is crazy…All I can say is that something has to be done as soon as possible for people to have confidence in the facilities”.
Along with the licenses of the elevators being expired students and staff are now concerned with other items on campus like the fire extinguishers located all around campus. Pamela De la Torre says, “I think it is important to correct because If the elevators are out of certification what’s to say other items are as well like the fire extinguishers or fire hazards. So I would hope that those get checked as well.” These are some things students and faculty do not think about yet they are the main ones using these elevators every single day. Pamela also mentioned she thinks the pandemic may have put the inspections behind due to the repercussions of COVID19.
Most faculty and students are alarmed for their safety by how long the license has expired and may pull back from their use of the elevators on campus. A transfer student Lorilee Coffey is surprised by this news as she states, “It scares me, because that’s two years since it expired. That’s a lot, I would much rather see it up to date. Now that I know about the expired permit I want to go use the stairs.” At this rate students do not feel safe to be on campus knowing these inspections are not being taken seriously. Some changes must be made in order for the students to feel safe. Kaalab Meach mentions, “I would change the way they do inspections, have a new system in place so something like this won’t happen again.” There are around 40 or more elevators on campus and of those elevators only one of them is up to date. Student safety is really important, and with these expired permits students and faculty do not feel the safest now knowing this information when getting from class to class.
If interested in finding out more about the facilities on campus you can contact CSUSB Facilities Services at (909) 537-5175