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Inspection Of Rooms Is Planned For Break

By Rosalind S. Helderman, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Students better watch out and stash those coffee pots. Harvard room inspectors are coming to town.

Over the upcoming winter holidays, house superintendents, dorm crew workers and other administrators will inspect all student rooms, looking for illegal appliances, blocked fire doors, illegal adhesive use and general room damage.

All appliances, with the exception of micro-fridges and dorm-sized refrigerators, are illegal. Candles showing any evidence of having been burned are also not allowed.

In first-year dorms, halogen lamps are also on the contraband list.

William B. Long, superintendent of Adams House, who will be touring Adamsians' rooms over break, said the inspections are "a cursory look to make sure that life and safety issues are adhered to."

According to Kathleen A. Bray, manager of Freshman dorms, room inspectors are not looking for alcohol.

"That's out of our jurisdiction. It would be an invasion of privacy," she said.

Long said illegal appliance violations are referred to the Allston Burr Senior Tutor, who then issues a warning to students. Students have 10 days to remove the appliances before the senior tutor takes action.

Bray said violations in first-year dorms are handled in a similar manner, with violations referred to assistant deans.

Many students say they are not too worried about the inspections. One senior from Cabot House, who wished to remain anonymous, said, "We've had various things in our suites, including a fish tank.

The room across the hall from me has a veritable kitchen, but they're seniors and they're confident they won't get caught."

James C. Seppala '01 isn't worried about getting in trouble.

"We have a pretty damn squeaky clean room. Well, they might find the fridge, but we're going to put a drape over it," he said.

Room inspectors confirm that they don't tear rooms apart looking for illegalities.

"We don't go out of our way to look for things," Bray said. "We have 1660 rooms to inspect, and we're not going to spend all winter looking."

However, Long warned students not to be too cavalier.

"I can't go invade someone's privacy," he said. "But I don't want to be misconstrued as saying all you have to do is cover your microwave and you won't get caught."

Jay W. Coveney, superintendent of Lowell House, said he does not generally lift up coats or towels as part of his room search.

He said he opens closets only if he is already suspicious of the room.

"If I heard a noise in a closet, I'd go in," he said, referring to the possibility of a stashed pet.

"I don't generally open the closet," he added.

Some students go to great lengths to protect their illegal appliances.

"I had a coffee pot," said Anne H. Jump '01. "When the signs went up warning about inspections, I wrapped it up. Now it's disguised as a Christmas present."

Richard J. Hughes '98 said there was a potential benefit to room inspections. "I'd like it if they cleaned up a little bit, while they're in there," he said

The room across the hall from me has a veritable kitchen, but they're seniors and they're confident they won't get caught."

James C. Seppala '01 isn't worried about getting in trouble.

"We have a pretty damn squeaky clean room. Well, they might find the fridge, but we're going to put a drape over it," he said.

Room inspectors confirm that they don't tear rooms apart looking for illegalities.

"We don't go out of our way to look for things," Bray said. "We have 1660 rooms to inspect, and we're not going to spend all winter looking."

However, Long warned students not to be too cavalier.

"I can't go invade someone's privacy," he said. "But I don't want to be misconstrued as saying all you have to do is cover your microwave and you won't get caught."

Jay W. Coveney, superintendent of Lowell House, said he does not generally lift up coats or towels as part of his room search.

He said he opens closets only if he is already suspicious of the room.

"If I heard a noise in a closet, I'd go in," he said, referring to the possibility of a stashed pet.

"I don't generally open the closet," he added.

Some students go to great lengths to protect their illegal appliances.

"I had a coffee pot," said Anne H. Jump '01. "When the signs went up warning about inspections, I wrapped it up. Now it's disguised as a Christmas present."

Richard J. Hughes '98 said there was a potential benefit to room inspections. "I'd like it if they cleaned up a little bit, while they're in there," he said

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