Winter Term Health and Safety Inspection

WILL BROWN
STAFF WRITER

This semester the Residence Life office continues with their second round of health and safety inspections for the year. During these inspections, resident assistants and their supervisors use the master key to gain admittance to students’ dorms in order to determine the state of the living space and ensure that there are no fire hazards or prohibited items present.

Alma College residents understandably have mixed feelings about these inspections that range from them being useful to them being invasive and even just being a waste of time.

When asked about whether room checks are necessary, first-year student Kayla Koepf (’23) responded by stating, “While some rules seem unnecessary—like the no-tapestry rule—I think that the inspections are a way for Residence Life to make sure that students are living in a safe environment.”

However, not all students share Koepf’s neutral view. Second-year student Ethan Zalec (’22) states that he views these inspections as unnecessary—adding that they are an “invasion of privacy.”

Second-year student Lexy Maas (’22) elaborates on Zalec’s views by agreeing that they are a waste of time for all parties involved. “The students just hide their candles or whatever until it’s over and then bring them right back out.” She elaborates that the only people satisfied with the inspections are administration who can “pat themselves on the back for doing a check.”

A different perspective was brought forward by first-year student Hannah Stiffler (’23) who stated that “[inspections] are just a way for Residence Life to make sure that students are living in clean, healthy environments—which some students really need.” She goes on to say that there are some rooms that seem “so disgusting that it’s almost unlivable.”

Residents have already been exposed to these inspections this past fall semester—the first semester in which they were implemented. However, according to Bruske RA Gabby Blecke (’21), residents may have been less focused on ensuring that they passed. “Students from all buildings should have been more prepared for room checks, as they were given lots of notice and have done them before.”

Blecke feels that this is reflected in the increased number of residents that failed their initial inspections.

While failing an inspection for minor infractions, such as having a tapestry or blocking your window, does not lead to any serious consequences, Blecke states that they “do result in more work for the residents, RAs and administrators.”

In order to pass these inspections in the future, resident assistant Anna Eaton (’20) spoke about how students can prepare for future inspections.

“Student can prepare by looking at the Alma handbook—specifically the section on prohibited items as well as the section on fire safety. These very clearly outline what items are and are not allowed in your room.” RAs and Residence Life administrative staff are also very open to students about what they look for in these inspections and when they take place.

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