Expired elevator licenses cause confusion on campus


Kelly Garrity

The frame for elevator license in Ryder Hall appears empty.

Kelly Garrity, news correspondent

According to Massachusetts state law, all elevators must be inspected by the Board of Elevator Regulations at least once a year. Several elevators across Northeastern’s campus have licenses posted in them that appear to have expired, some with expiration dates that passed almost four months ago. 

Elevators in Shillman Hall, Behrakis Health Sciences Center, Snell Library and Ell Hall appear to have expired licenses. In Ryder Hall, the license is missing from the elevator.

In an Oct. 2 email to The News, Northeastern spokesman Mike Woeste wrote, “all Northeastern owned and operated building elevators are inspected and certified and the licenses are held by Facilities. To date, all elevator certifications are up to date.” Facilities declined to comment for this article. 

Massachusetts law dictates that the owner of an elevator display their license “in a conspicuous place in or near the cab or car of such elevator.”

The lack of updated physical licenses in elevators has caused some confusion around campus. Many students believe the elevators are out of date.  

“I’ve heard that they keep the licenses in the RA or RD office,” said resident assistant and third-year finance and accounting management combined major JJ French.

Emma Kanchanawat, a fourth-year business administration major, said she finds the “randomness” of the expired licenses interesting. 

“There are some elevators that do have new licenses, but then there are some [that] just don’t,” she said. 

In West Village F, the displayed license has not expired, while neighboring buildings such as Shillman and Behrakis have elevators with expired licenses. 

The “randomness” is especially apparent in Behrakis, where one of the two elevators has a license that expired Sept. 7, while the other has a seemingly updated license that is not set to expire until Aug. 31, 2020. 

Kanchanawat said she rides the elevator in Ell Hall multiple times a week to go to her work on the fourth floor of Ell, where the only elevator has a license that expired on Sept. 7.

Kanchanawat said although she has noticed the out-of-date licenses, she does not frequently fear for her safety when riding the elevators. 

Simran Arora, a second-year psychology major, agreed. “I’m personally not too paranoid about these things, but a lot of people do get freaked out about it,” she said.

Arora lives in Davenport A, where she gives herself an extra 10 minutes to get to class to account for the slow ride from her room on the fifth floor. “I have to leave 10 minutes earlier than I normally would because the elevator takes so long to come and then to go down,” she said. 

On move-in day, Arora said she and her roommates noticed that the license had expired on  May 31. Since then, however, a new license has been put in the elevator. This has not altered the time it takes to ride to and from her floor. 

French said he lived in Davenport A last year and agreed with Arora’s statement. “Generally I didn’t feel too nervous, [the elevators] were just really slow,” he said.