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Five Reasons To Avoid Plaza Uni Dorms

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

First things first, a disclaimer: I first moved in to Plaza Uni dorms on August 2022 and I continue to live there and have no imminent plans to move away (although I really wish I could). Now, on to the show. 

The first day I moved into the building, there were several things that stood out to me. The hallway leading up to the elevators was riddled with buckets with water (or at least what I thought was water) in them. While it did put me off, I didn’t immediately get alarmed. Another thing I noticed was the elevators. Only one of them worked and when I got in it, there was a big, laminated sign taped to the wall that said CALL IN CASE ELEVATOR GETS STUCK. It also made a weird sound. This did alarm me, but I laughed it off. 

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Picture taken of elevator sign at Plaza Uni dorms

Charming place, really. So much charm, I thought. 

When I got into my apartment, that’s when the biggest surprise hit. There was fungus all around the frame of my dorm room. It was black, wet, and very much there. My cupboards were almost white with it, and they were supposed to be brown. Since it was the first day, I alerted the staff, and they immediately cleaned it up. I was shocked, but still, I brushed it off. 

As the months went on, I can safely say I’ve lived through some memorable experiences. Like the time the power went out and all my clothes got stained with fungus. Or the time my phone charger got damaged thanks to the humidity levels in my room. Or maybe that really fun day my roof was literally black with fungus and upon notifying the maintenance staff they suggested someone could paint over it. Or maybe the day that they actually did paint over the fungus, but the humidity made the paint drip to the floor. Or the numerous occasions the fire alarm made us all evacuate with no apparent reason. Really, this place is almost like the gift that keeps on giving. You just never know what’s coming next!

So, if you ask me: Karla, what do you think about “Plaza Universitaria” dorms? I will tell you this: You should avoid at all costs for the next five reasons:

  1. The fungus: It’s everywhere. You can’t escape it. It grows in the cabinets, in the walls, in the doors, in my bed… It has recently started growing in my walls as well, and it’s a different kind. How fun. 
  2. Say goodbye to your electronics: The humidity has literally damaged electrical items, trust that I am not alone in this. It is also the cause of the doors puffing and not working properly. This happened to my bathroom door when I first moved in and I literally could not close it at all for a whole month. My roommate and I just had to make due because the administration ignored my complaint for weeks. 
  3. The elevators: The elevators work when they want to. Completely unreliable. If you choose to use one, make sure you have a phone to call if you get stuck. 
  4. The administration: In case you’re not aware, Plaza Universitaria does not belong to the UPR anymore. It belongs to a private company named UPR Parking System. Since they’ve been in control of the building, lots of things have stopped functioning, and they have not gone through the trouble of fixing them. Like the Wi-Fi. It’s included in the contract I signed, and yet there isn’t Wi-Fi in the common rooms or in the rooms themselves. Whenever there is fungus growing on my walls or roof, I notify it. When they decide to come, they just send someone to paint over it. These are just a few of the many issues that have happened to me, and on top of that they refuse to lower the rent to accommodate the fact that they are not offering all of the services they should be offering. 
  5. My god the cold: Some people might not mind it as much, but trust that I do. My room is at 62 degrees Fahrenheit. I can’t change it or my walls and roof start dripping water and the floors stay constantly wet. For reference, I sleep with two sweaters and two comforters. I also avoid going there during the day. 

Now, after hearing all this you might wonder, why doesn’t she just move? I haven’t because, for all its many many faults, Plaza Uni is sadly the best option for me right now. It remains one of the most affordable places near campus for people who can’t pay the $500 + apartment rents around Río Piedras, and I get a level of privacy that I wouldn’t get in the options that are cheaper, as I have my own room. Lastly, it still is the closest option out there for people who can’t rely on their cars constantly and choose to walk every day. For these reasons, like many other students, I have been forced to make the impossible decision of staying somewhere I truly do not enjoy being in. Because if not there, where would I go?

I hope one day there are more affordable and neat college dorm options in the future, so other students can stay somewhere that is halfway decent, but that day is not here yet, so in Plaza Uni I remain. 

Karla Perez is an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus. She's studying English Education. When she isn't studying or working, you can find her reading the latest Colleen Hoover book, writing, or laying beneath a palm tree on a beach contemplating her life decisions.