It’s safe to say the new massage chairs in Ruth Merrill are officially a hit, as SA says they are currently out of order due to overuse and improper use, and are awaiting repair.
The mysterious “Do Not Use” signs first appeared on the massage chairs roughly two weeks after Campus Times first covered a story on them.
“This is why we can’t have nice things,” sophomore Kamal Raji said when he heard the news, shaking his head.
SA is glad the chairs, winners of last year’s 5K challenge, have proved so popular, but is also aware of the need to educate students on the do’s and don’ts of the chairs.
SA Vice President Jamal Holtz, a junior, says the chairs are frequently repositioned by students who come to use them, and can recall moving the chairs back to their proper position up to 12 times in one day.
One day, he came in to find one of the chairs operating in a loop and unable to shut down, while the other chair was no longer reclining. Thanks to the warranty that SA government purchased with the chairs, their vendor, Brookstone, came in and made a diagnosis, which confirmed that the constant dragging had helped dislodge internal parts of the chair.
It is anticipated that the chairs will be repaired within a week, but until then, SA is working to ensure the longevity of the chairs.
“We are looking for ways to make sure that students appreciate them more,” Holtz said.
SA Public Relations Officer junior Svarina Karwanyun says SA will soon publish a list of guidelines on using the chairs to help ensure their longevity. The list includes time constraints and cleaning instructions for students who would like to clean them before their turn, on top of the daily cleaning the chairs undergo.
Karwanyun also spoke on how the chairs have informed future direction for SA, and for the Campus Life Committee that heads the 5K challenge.
“We want the options available through the 5K challenge to be sustainable,” Karwanyun said.
The chairs do not exactly meet this criteria, since their repair is made possible by the warranty they were bought with, which will eventually expire.
Consistent sustainability could be achieved, Karwanyun said, by streamlining the choices students can vote on so that they are all long-lasting. She cited last year’s winner — the sanitary products initiative that provides girls with free tampons and pads — as exemplary of this feature.
Both Holtz and Karwanyun noted that enforcing proper care of the massage chairs would prove difficult, and that they would have to trust the students to abide by the guidelines to keep the chairs around for as long as possible.
What happens next, it seems, is up to the student body.