Dear Editor of the Collegiate Times,
Recently, an article was published regarding student frustrations surrounding excessive false fire alarms in residence halls.
The article describes the inconvenient and disruptive nature of frequent evacuations, citing odd hours and cold weather. Ultimately, the author suggests that students who choose to engage in behaviors which risk setting off an alarm should face repercussions from the university. The staff in Housing and Residence Life and Student Conduct share your concerns.
Occupants of residence halls will be happy to learn that students are regularly held accountable for violating two policies related to fire alarms in the Virginia Tech Student Code of Conduct.
Smoking, including vaping, is an explicit violation of university’s Policy 1010 and thus also violates the Student Code of Conduct’s Failure to Observe Rules or Regulations policy, or “failure to observe rules and regulations issued by the university, including all publications and notices pertaining to student life and student services.”
Furthermore, Section IV of the Fire Safety policy forbids “deliberately initiating a false alarm or creating conditions that result in a false alarm.” Students who set off alarms because of smoking, burning things or pulling an alarm for no reason may receive a variety of sanctions, including denial of housing.
We recognize that false alarms disrupt the living and learning environment and appreciate the frustration that students experience. The article acutely draws attention to the ways in which individuals’ actions, whether malicious or otherwise, can have a direct impact on their surrounding community, and we encourage students to reflect on this sentiment.
We welcome and encourage suggestions and feedback from students on these matters as we live in community with one another.