Got milk? Nope.
Housing sells mini-fridges, company sells them back
Val Vita | Managing Editor
Some of the 1,100 students who live in Nation, Dellinger, Willard, Tanner Complex, Bowen and Trout arrived at their halls this year and found a surprise: the mini-fridges that used to be provided were no longer there.
Melissa Beisel, associate director of housing, says 400 mini-fridges were sold in an auction this summer, after an online survey of students living in the dorms found that most students didn’t use them.
“We found out that most of the students brought mini-fridges from home and many used the PSU mini-fridge as a freezer,” Beisel said. “There was no reason for having that fridge, plus one from home. We made this decision because it saves energy and saves costs for us. Other schools got rid of the mini-fridges a long time ago.”
Beisel says that now, if students want to have mini-fridges in the bedrooms, they must bring their own. However, they can have only one mini-fridge, no larger than 4 cubic feet, per room.
Beisel declined to give the results of the survey that led to the decision. Connie Malle, director of housing, also declined to give the numbers that confirm that most students didn’t use the PSU mini-fridges. Malle says other housing employees have those figures and these employees were not available.
Malle says she couldn’t release the name of the company that bought the mini-fridges, or how much they paid for them, saying that it was a sealed auction. However, on move-in day Saturday, the company Vilela Randy Trucking Hauling & Demolition was selling the mini-fridges back to students in the dorm parking lots.
The company superintendent, who gave his name as Bobby K., confirmed that they bought the mini-fridges from the university. He says he was driving a truck filled with fridges that had “for sale” ads on them. The prices ranged from $35 to $45, depending on the size.
“We bought 500 fridges from PSU,” Bobby K. said. “We sold quite a bit today. This is my second load. Anybody who needs it, just call us (231-6350), because we have plenty.”
The office manager of Vilela Randy Trucking Hauling & Demolition, who identified herself only as Cathy B., says she couldn’t reveal the exact price they paid for the fridges, but she said the figure was about $15,000, which means they paid roughly $30 for each one.
One of the students who bought a mini-fridge was Sky Carter. She says she paid $35 for a small one that she will use for food and drinks.
“I understand that it saves energy and money for them, but it made things easy when we had the refrigerators in the dorms,” said Carter, senior in electrical engineering. “I liked it better when we had them. It saved us money.”
Joud Bayeh says he thought about buying a mini-fridge from the company that was offering them on Saturday.
“I met this guy in the hallway and he offered me a mini-fridge for $40,” said Bayeh, exchange student in justice studies. “I asked him why did he want to sell it to me and his answer was: ‘I just bought 400 of them.’”
Bayeh says he decided to wait for his roommate and they are still deciding if they will buy it. He says he arrived at Pitt State a few days ago and he wasn’t expecting mini-fridges in the residence halls.
“But when I found out that they used to have mini-fridges, I got angry,” Bayeh said. “I just arrived at PSU and I don’t know how the things work over here, but that doesn’t seem like a democratic decision.”
Andre Souza says he was expecting a mini-fridge in his room.
“I came from a distant country, Brazil, and I had bought milk and butter the first day that had to be in a fridge as soon as possible,” said Souza, exchange student in accounting.
Souza says he had to leave the milk and butter in his desk since he had no fridge. He says he had to throw them away the next day.
“I think this decision of taking the fridges out of the dorms makes no sense,” Sousa said. “We really need them, especially international students, and mainly on these hot days!”