News

Undergraduates Celebrate Second Consecutive Virtual Housing Day

News

Dean of Students Office Discusses Housing Day, Anti-Racism Goals

News

Renowned Cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bernard Lown Dies at 99

News

Native American Nonprofit Accuses Harvard of Violating Federal Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

News

U.S. Reps Assess Biden’s Progress on Immigration at HKS Event

First-Years Make Light Of New Halogen Restriction

By Lori I. Diamond, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Among the many pieces of mail that Harvard sent out this summer, few caused as much of a stir as the flyer informing incoming first years that they would not be allowed to use halogen lamps in their dimly-lit Yard dorms.

Having bought a halogen before arriving at Harvard, Maria E. Cruz '01 says she was very disappointed by the restriction and has since been forced to keep her lamp unplugged under her desk.

"It's really dark in my room. I can't see anything, so I never read in my room," says Cruz. "I'm used to bright light. A regular desk lamp is too dim."

First-year Lisa C. Vogt, who lives in Straus, says she really misses her halogen lamp from high school. She sold her lamp when she found out she couldn't bring it here.

"It was the light of my life," Vogt says about her old halogen. "It made me happy through three years of high school," she says.

But not all first-years have been as passive in accepting the restriction of the College.

An employee at Dickson Brothers says that halogens are still rather popular among first-years.

"We tell them [about the restriction]," he says. "They don't listen."

Employees at the Coop and Dickson Brothers are trying to help Harvard enforce its halogen lamp rule.

A flyer at the register of the Coop says, "Halogen torchiere floor lamps are prohibited in Harvard freshman housing." It goes on to warn students who already have the lamp: "Extreme care must be taken to prevent placement of a halogen lamp within two feet of any combustible surface." The flyer recommends an alternative DANA lamp (see below).

Despite such warnings, Coop employees will often have to fend off first-years eager to break the rules.

"We've had a lot of people come up to buy them," says Seth A. Rosenthal, an employee at the Coop. "We tell them they're not allowed and they put them back."

A first-year spotted purchasing a halogen in the Coop this week says he bought the lamp because of the poor lighting in his room.

"It is the worst lighting I've ever seen in my life," says the Greenough resident. "I can't do any work."

The first-year says he is not scared that his halogen will cause a fire.

"I've had halogens in my house in every single room. There's not a problem if you just close them when you leave."

One Canaday resident who owns a halogen says she is not scared of a possible fire. "We hardly turn it on," she says.

What's the Big Deal?

While first-years halogen smugglers might not fear their rooms catching fire, they might fear the wrath of their proctor.

But just how serious is the penalty for harboring illegal halogens?

According to proctor Kristin J. Lindemann, the penalty would simply be getting rid of the lamp.

"I'm not aware of any fines or other repercussions," says Lindemann.

Although a halogen is a bit more noticeable during a room inspection, the penalty appears to be the same as owning an illicit toaster or hotplate.

First-year Chris K. Song says he simply had to get rid of his floor halogen after his proctor saw it.

"I have one of those small [legal] halogens with a plastic cover now," says Song.

However, first-years shouldn't expect to be let off so easily if they burn down Weld.

"Certainly, if there were a problem caused by a halogen, that might result in disciplinary action that might be more severe than before," says Lindemann

A flyer at the register of the Coop says, "Halogen torchiere floor lamps are prohibited in Harvard freshman housing." It goes on to warn students who already have the lamp: "Extreme care must be taken to prevent placement of a halogen lamp within two feet of any combustible surface." The flyer recommends an alternative DANA lamp (see below).

Despite such warnings, Coop employees will often have to fend off first-years eager to break the rules.

"We've had a lot of people come up to buy them," says Seth A. Rosenthal, an employee at the Coop. "We tell them they're not allowed and they put them back."

A first-year spotted purchasing a halogen in the Coop this week says he bought the lamp because of the poor lighting in his room.

"It is the worst lighting I've ever seen in my life," says the Greenough resident. "I can't do any work."

The first-year says he is not scared that his halogen will cause a fire.

"I've had halogens in my house in every single room. There's not a problem if you just close them when you leave."

One Canaday resident who owns a halogen says she is not scared of a possible fire. "We hardly turn it on," she says.

What's the Big Deal?

While first-years halogen smugglers might not fear their rooms catching fire, they might fear the wrath of their proctor.

But just how serious is the penalty for harboring illegal halogens?

According to proctor Kristin J. Lindemann, the penalty would simply be getting rid of the lamp.

"I'm not aware of any fines or other repercussions," says Lindemann.

Although a halogen is a bit more noticeable during a room inspection, the penalty appears to be the same as owning an illicit toaster or hotplate.

First-year Chris K. Song says he simply had to get rid of his floor halogen after his proctor saw it.

"I have one of those small [legal] halogens with a plastic cover now," says Song.

However, first-years shouldn't expect to be let off so easily if they burn down Weld.

"Certainly, if there were a problem caused by a halogen, that might result in disciplinary action that might be more severe than before," says Lindemann

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags