Students' Loft May Be Torn Down
What happens when five freshmen are crammed into a four-person room? They build a loft. Result--no more crowding. But five students in Canaday Hall's C-entry who tried this tactic said their plan may soon be foiled.
Although the students who built the loft said it received the superintendant's approval earlier this year, Yard Superintendent Edward Rosen threatened early this month to tear it down.
The University does not have a blanket no-lofts policy, but each construction must be approved individually by the superintendent, said Robert Lyng, Facilities Maintenance manager for the Yard.
A new structure must not change "the fabric of the building" or restrict exit from the room in case of fire, added Lyng.
Called Fire Hazard
"The loft is a fire hazard and a threat to student safety," said Rosen. "It compromises the sprinkler and the smoke alarm in the room."
But the freshmen who built the loft said neither the smoke alarm nor the sprinkler system is blocked by the wooden structure. The sprinkler and the smoke alarm are on the wall opposite the loft, they said.
"The smoke alarm is totally ineffectual anyway," said Andrew N. Hultkrans '88, who sleeps on the loft. "It is so high up that we would all asphyxiate from smoke before the alarm went off."
The controversial loft was originally built by students last year in another fifth floor Canaday room, then dismantled and sold this fall to its present owners. Last year it was approved by Rosen.
Last year's loft owners, who now live in Leverett House, said it took months to get Rosen's approval.
"Rosen would create wild scenarios about a guest who would panic during a fire, fall out of the loft and die," said Alan J. Bauer '87, who built the loft.
Once, Rosen pinned a note to the loft saying that unless they built a ladder within 48 hours, he would send carpenters to tear the loft down, Bauer added.
Rosen said he discourages lofts for safety reasons. "Students think in the short run. I think in the long run. It's a lot of fun until somebody gets hurt."