In a recent email to the student body, WSA Student Affairs Committee chair David Goldman ’12 writes of the recent fire safety inspections and their violation
Last spring, the WSA reached an agreement with Physical Plant and Residential Life on the timing and advanced notification of routine room inspections. Under the agreed upon policy, inspections would take place during a Fire Safety Awareness Month. We felt this was a major step forward in transparency and accountability from Fire Safety. It is also in line with the practices of several of our peer institutions, who provide advance notification of Fire Safety inspections to students.
We were surprised when room inspections began unannounced this fall, disregarding last spring’s agreement. Last week, in a meeting with several administrators from Physical Plant, Residential Life, and Fire Safety, we were informed that the administration had consciously decided to break their agreement with the student body. The WSA was not notified at the time the decision was made to drop Fire Safety Awareness Month, denying us the opportunity to voice student concerns. The WSA will continue to work on Fire Safety issues, but as of now, future inspections will continue to be unannounced.
The WSA believes this decision was motivated by a lack of trust in the student body. This blatant disregard for an agreement with elected student representatives undermines the working relationship for which we all strive; as a WSA leader, I hope we can undo the damage caused by this decision.
Dave Goldman ’12
Student Affairs Committee Chair, WSA
This is the next chapter in a long struggle between the student body and fire safety, which has continually overstepped their responsibilities (read: to make sure our living spaces are not flammable). For example, fire safety confiscates alcohol from under-age students, and has had students arrested for marijuana possession. Is fire safety within its rights? Should they be respecting their agreement with the WSA?