A woman in a hallway (L) and trash piled up in a hallway (R).

@djenebask.2/TikTok

‘We’re paying this much rent and can’t even put our trash in the… trash’: Student puts university apartment on blast over living conditions in viral TikTok

'I hate it here.'

 

Sabine Joseph

Internet Culture

Published Sep 27, 2021   Updated Sep 29, 2021, 5:03 pm CDT

An apparent student at Temple University in Philadelphia put her apartment complex on blast in a viral TikTok for letting trash pile up and seep into the hallway. 

In the video, which has gotten over 40,000 likes and 300,000 views, @djenebask.2 and another woman add their trash to a pile flowing out of the trash room and into the hall of their apartment building.

“There’s just no way we’re paying this much rent and can’t even put our trash in the… trash,” user @djenebask.2 says. 

https://www.tiktok.com/@djenebask.2/video/7012253679822621957

The TikToker doesn’t say how long the trash has been piling up, but the video text and caption allege the issue is happening at University Village, a student housing property that serves Temple University students. 

A video posted last week by user @misslindseychris, which has gotten 5,000 likes and over 100,000 views, also shows the trash pile-up and calls out University Village. The video shows a very similar scene to @djenebask.2’s, with trash overflowing from the trash room and into the hallway. The on-screen text reads: “What $800 of rent will get you at University Village (Temple). Trash and fruit flies . . .”

In the comments section of @misslindseychris’ video, many claimed to be current and former residents. Neither @djenebask.2 nor @misslindseychris mentioned which building they were in, but the comments suggest that the issue is taking place on several floors of the first building.

Commenters on @djenebask.2’s video also noted that the pile-up is a health concern because it is likely to attract pests. “Rats and roaches I know live rent free,” user @melanated30 commented. 

User @janiya.iris responded to the comment saying that they “live in the building” and “have no rodents thankfully,” but a commenter on @misslindseychris’ video claimed there used to be mice. Alleged residents also said they have roaches.

“I have roaches right now and it took them over a month to send the exterminator to my room,” one alleged resident said in a comment on @misslindseychris’ video. They said in a reply that they “still have the roaches.”

While many users are outraged on behalf of the residents, several commenters on @djenebask.2’s video blame them for allowing the trash to pile up. “It’s [their own] fault they could’ve put it all outside instead of inside,” user @pinera954 said in response to a comment about how the trash will attract pests.

Others have rebutted that the residents aren’t “lazy” for not taking their trash outside because there may not be dumpsters available, and they may not be authorized to use them even if there were.

They also argued that the residents could not just leave the trash on the street, as some suggested because they could potentially get fined. Additionally, some mentioned that the trash would not get picked up because of alleged understaffing at the Philadelphia Sanitation Division. 

The Daily Dot reached out to @djenebask.2 via TikTok comment as well as University Village and its affiliate, American Campus Communities, via email. The parties did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Update 3:49pm CT, Sept. 29: TikTok user @misslindseychris, who goes by Lindsey, elaborated on the incident via phone interview with the Daily Dot.

Lindsey explained that University Village has two buildings and that each floor has two trash rooms.

“There were just multiple weeks where nothing had been taken out, so it was pretty much a problem [for] any trash room in the entire building,” she said.

According to Lindsey, the incident she documented was not the first trash pile-up at the apartment.

“When we first moved, in mid- to late August, things actually did start getting really bad with the trash for a few weeks,” Lindsey said. That trash was taken out “about three or four weeks ago, and then things started building up again,” she added.

Lindsey estimated that the pile-up she showed in her TikTok had been in the hallway for two weeks. She said that she went to the office to report it twice, but the student employees in the office “didn’t really know anything.” Lindsey did not attempt to report the incident to upper management.

“It’s pretty frustrating because I lived here last year too, and this never happened during that time,” Lindsey said. “And I always keep my place pretty clean, but we were getting pretty bad fruit flies both this time that the trash built up and like four weeks ago when the trash was also this bad.”

Lindsey says that unlike the alleged residents in the comments, she does not have roaches or mice. She said she does, however, have a friend on the first floor who has roaches.

“I think the people on the first floor have it the worst as far as they’ll actually have roaches and stuff,” she said. “Luckily, if you’re higher up, it doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem.”

University Village disposed of the trash Tuesday, and Lindsey said that she received an email from the community apologizing for the issue. The email also includes initiatives University Village is implementing to fix the issue and prevent future pile-ups.

“They said ‘we hired cleaning and sanitation vendors to service the carpets and floors,’ and I actually did, when I was leaving the building this morning, I saw a guy with a carpet cleaning jacket on,” Lindsey said. She said that she was happy to see him because the carpet was “stinkin’” and it was especially unpleasant because her room is “right next to the trash room.”


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*First Published: Sep 27, 2021, 3:36 pm CDT