BY ALEXA CHERRY
For the UAS Whalesong
Before you ask, my title is in reference to the film Monsters Inc., specifically, from a scene where a monster returns from the humans’ world but has been “contaminated” by a sock, so he’s promptly tackled by monsters in biohazard suits shouting about a “Code 2319.” I thought that the title and scene were at least remotely applicable when discussing the topic at hand, which is the new Health and Safety Inspections that are soon to be enacted by Residence Life.
I’ve heard friends and classmates express alarm and confusion over these inspections, so I thought I would write an informative article clarifying what they are and how they will affect students living on campus housing. You probably got a brightly colored sheet of paper telling you what a Health and Safety Inspection is and why it’s happening – but in case you lost it, or didn’t read it, I am here to remind you.
Honestly, a Health and Safety Inspection is exactly what it sounds like. To quote from the sheet, “two Residence Life staff members will enter your unit and conduct a short inspection to ensure that your unit is being maintained in a clean and healthy manner.” But what constitutes “clean and healthy?” The sheet clarifies that a spotless living environment is not expected, but rather, a safe one. Don’t have trash overflowing, or bags of trash that haven’t been taken out racked up in the halls or entryway. “Fire hazards” obviously include candles and other purposefully flammable things, but it’s also a fire hazard if you can’t easily navigate to a door – so if you haven’t seen your bedroom floor in a while, that would be something to fix prior to the inspection. They’ll also be taking a look in your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets in search of food that is on its way to becoming sentient.
However, one thing that a Health and Safety Inspection is not is some kind of 1920s speakeasy raid. Many other schools have been doing these inspections, and UAS is just catching up with the trend. Residence Life will not be going through your drawers, closets, makeup boxes, and back packs in search of “contraband items.” That being said, some concern has been expressed regarding the as-yet unresolved issue of thumb tacks. I contacted Paul Dorman, the Associate Director of Residence Life, about this issue, asking the question “If students have tacks up when their unit is inspected, will they be charged/fined/reprimanded, even if they have already officially noted the presence of previously existing tack holes?” This was his response:
“To clarify your question of whether or not students will be charged for thumbtacks, I would say that students are not ‘charged for thumbtacks.’ If there is damage to a unit beyond reasonable wear and tear, that is what residents may be charged for, but that is more likely to be assessed during said resident’s checkout of their respective unit. A checkout of a unit has a different goal and process than a health and safety inspection.”
Now, I’m not entirely sure what that means either, but I think that for the time being, it’s a safe bet to comply with current regulations and just not use tacks.
In the meantime, you would probably like to know when the inspections are occurring. For residents of the John R. Pugh Hall, inspections will occur on October 8 and November 12. For residents of the Main Housing Complex, inspections will occur November 2 to November 6. Now that you know when to expect it, here’s an excerpt from the information sheet on how to prepare.
• Clean your floors
• Take out your trash and recyclables
• Put in work orders with the Lodge or Front Desk for maintenance needs
• Ensure there are no fire hazards or contraband items in your unit
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Winter is coming, and so is Residence Life. And hey – if nothing else, this is a good impetus to finally, finally clean your room! Yeah. You know who you are.