Mid-semester safety checks administered in dorms

by Laura King / Beacon Staff • October 22, 2015

Student dorm rooms were inspected for health and safety last week by resident assistants, a procedure that usually does not happen until residence halls close for Thanksgiving.

Erik Muurisepp, associate dean and director of Housing and Residence Life, said that the newly-instated October room checks were a collaboration between his department and the Office of Student Conduct.

RAs scheduled appointments with the students on their floors and looked at the dorms for cleanliness and safety violations.

“We wanted do health and safety [checks] more strategically in the semester,” Muurisepp said. “We want to make sure rooms are in good conditions year round, not just during breaks.”

Muurisepp said that doing an inspection earlier in the semester can set a standard for students throughout the year.

He said he hoped that this would allow RAs to have educational conversations with their residents about potential violations. Muurisepp said that they were able to advise students that they should take home minor violations, like tapestries, over the Thanksgiving break, rather than having to confiscate the items.

Emily Frazee, an RA in the Little Building, said this process will make the residence hall checks at Thanksgiving much simpler, as many of the major safety violations will have already been dealt with. She said she also liked that she got to interact with her residents.

“I got to go into my resident’s rooms while they were there and talk to them,” the junior visual and media arts major said.  “It was a really good opportunity to just talk to them and see how they were doing.”

Frazee said that while she’s happy to be doing inspections earlier in the year, the timing was very poor. She said that she was only given one week’s notice to make time for them and that it was difficult to schedule around midterms.

Muurisepp said that he hopes the October check-ins will be an annual procedure. He also hopes to organize an earlier room inspection for the Spring semester, likely a few weeks before spring break.

Managing editor Hunter Harris, a resident assistant, did not edit this article.