Queens College’s on campus housing facility, The Summit Apartments, management contract is set to expire at the end of the academic year amid ongoing staffing issues.
When the building first opened, CUNY selected a third-party management company, hiring them to oversee the day-to-day operations of the building and to provide expertise and support. This, according to Sean J. Pierce, interim assistant vice president for Student Affairs, actually being a practice that is in place at other colleges within CUNY, as well as colleges and universities nationwide.
To fulfill these duties, CUNY selected Capstone On-Campus Management (COCM) to take on the previously mentioned responsibilities. These responsibilities include Residential Life, Facility Operations, and Leasing/Billing.
However, the agreement CUNY made with COCM was set for fourteen years and just recently expired in the summer of 2023, thus posing the question of whether or not the contract with
COCM would be renewed — allowing them to continue with Summit management — or if instead, QC would be looking elsewhere.
When asked about the expiration of the contract and what that would mean for the Summit and prospective management, Pierce stated that the agreement between COCM and CUNY has been temporarily renewed for a year saying, “At this time, CUNY and Queens College opted to renew the agreement with COCM for an additional 12 months to manage the building for another term while a Request for Proposals (RFP) is drafted.”
Pierce points out that with several companies available that specialize in residential life management, receiving bids for review by CUNY and Queens College so as to determine the next management cycle is anticipated. While Pierce was not at liberty to share more information, he did say that it is expected that the submission, review, and decision-making process will be completed in time for this upcoming summer.
Additionally, sources told The Knight News that the director of housing and residence life — the building’s highest-ranking staff member — Timothy Chin is no longer with the staff, leaving the building without an in-house lead manager. This was confirmed by a vacancy note on the Summit’s staff page. The building is also searching for a new maintenance supervisor, accounts coordinator, and hall coordinator, according to their website. The first, of which, has caused the building headaches. The apartment building saw a four-story flood right at the beginning of the summer semester, costing around $1 million in damages, sources close to the situation told The Knight News. This left many of the hallways in the building inoperable for nearly the entirety of the summer.
The Summit recently hired Omari Miller to be the Assistant Director of Residence Life. It’s unclear if Miller will be the one in charge of the building or the Assistant Director of Operations Barbara O’ Neill who is the more seasoned employee of the building. We do not know at this time if COCM or QC has brought in somebody externally.
The Summit Apartments at Queens College has typically served as the beacon of student housing at CUNY, and has been doing so for the past fourteen years. Situated right on campus, the building is a 506-bed residential facility consisting of 144 apartments, is both an enriching and convenient place to live, with the apartments existing in a variety of configurations, but primarily features two-bedroom or four-bedroom units.
In addition to being fully furnished, with full kitchens included, The Summit Apartments provides wi-fi, study lounges located throughout the building, and access to a laundry room that is free of charge. Located between the Fitzgerald Gym and Rosenthal Library, The Summit is open to all eligible CUNY students, with the eligibility requirements being those who are enrolled full-time and with good academic standing.
Prior to the pandemic, The Summit consistently had a waitlist at the start of each Fall semester due to the popularity of this facility and the desire to reside on-campus. Post pandemic, The Summit has seen occupancy steadily increasing toward pre-pandemic levels. The building, owned by Queens College, was first opened fourteen years ago, in the Fall semester of 2009.