It seems that some outrage is brewing over Fire Safety’s decision to bring back the inspections which they had previously said would stop this semester. Fire safety is important and ok, yeah, you technically shouldn’t be lighting candles and incense under the tapestry which shouldn’t be hanging on your wall, but the manner in which they’re going back on their decision is a bit strange.
And judging from this WSA reaction email, Fire Safety is now apparently back with a vengeance, ready to go rogue:
The WSA was recently informed that Fire Safety inspectors have decided to disregard the search stoppage that was outlined by the WSA and the Argus earlier this semester. Thus, the WSA strongly encourages students to double-check their rooms for total compliance with Fire Safety regulations and the Code of Non-Academic content. Students who are not prepared for additional Fire Safety inspections should expect no mercy from newly emboldened Fire Safety inspectors.
The ResLife email from Fran Koerting in which the new searches were announced claimed that the January decision not to conduct fire safety inspections was “incorrectly reported” in the Argus article, which is weird because that would also mean it was also “incorrectly reported” by the WSA, which has no clear interest in misconstruing the facts.
This is the WSA’s side of the story, which seems reasonable:
After months of considerable pressure from the WSA on questionable Fire Safety inspection procedures, the administration did inform us that Fire Safety had completed their inspections for the year. The WSA was also told that problematic areas with past violations might be subject to reinspection. The Argus ran an article which correctly reported all of these facts.
Subsequently, the WSA learned that ResLife planned to warn staff of additional random inspections this year, despite the previous notification that inspections had been completed. There are two possible explanations for Fire Safety’s decision to impose an additional round of random inspections:
• The administration was initially disingenuous or misinformed in notifying the WSA and the Argus about the completion of searches.
• Fire Safety decided to capitalize on reduced vigilance of unsuspecting students following the publication of negative coverage in the Argus regarding the search stoppage.
So which is it, administrative negligence or Fire Safety disingenousness?
Again, not to minimize the obvious necessity of promoting fire safety, but why announce that last semester’s inspections were sufficient, only to go back on the decision three weeks later? Are they deliberately trying to instill fear and mistrust in the student body, especially after certain incidents over the past two years?
Until some answers become apparent, you would do well to follow the WSA’s recommendations:
Keeping the community safe is everyone’s first priority. As your WSA representatives, we implore you not to engage in activity which could result in burning down your residence. Go here to learn more about Fire Safety and the appeals process for improper fines. The WSA will continue to work towards protecting student rights and ensuring that we are all treated with the respect and dignity we deserve.
And once again, go over ResLife’s fire safety guidelines so as to keep Fire Safety from coming down on your ass hard.