The Cambridge City Council voted unanimously last night to ask the city's superintendent of buildings to inspect eight Harvard dormitories for potential overcrowding in violation of state law.
Cambridge City Councilor Lawrence W. Frisoli proposed the order after learning from Harvard students that the college may have housed more people in these dorms than permitted by the Massachusetts Building Code.
"I'm concerned about the safety of the dorms," Frisoli said.
Michael F. Brewer, vice president for government and community affairs, said yesterday that Harvard will cooperate with the investigation by sharing information with the city.
However, Brewer added, "The most recent information shows that Harvard has stayed well within the limits of the code."
If the inspectors find that the dorms are exceeding their lawful capacity, then the city could go to court to force Harvard to comply with the regulations, Frisoli said.
"But if a report comes out from this investigation, Harvard will certainly correct the situation," he added.
The residences to be investigated are Adams, Kirkland, Quincy, Canaday, Holworthy, Weld and Wigglesworth