If students can’t help, greater deterrent may be needed

March 23, 2022

Imagine you are a college student, and you’ve spent your day attending a full schedule of classes and extracurriculars. You come back to your dorm at the end of a long day and finally get a chance to rest. By the time you are able to get a few hours of rest, a loud, blaring fire alarm goes off, waking you up from your sleep.

Since the fall semester, constant fire alarms have continuously affected Quad 1 residents. Smoking, burnt food, and hair dryers have been a few reasons for the alarms, but smoking is the leading cause.

Quad 1 has had over 20 fire alarms during the fall and spring semester.

“It’s such an inconvenience,” said freshman Biology major Zoe Allen. “They wake us up, and we have to stand outside for at least 20 minutes each time the alarm sets off. The alarms usually go off during the night, and it’s hard to get back to sleep after they happen. I have early morning classes, and the alarms mess up my schedule.”

Some residents have said that because Quad 1 is a newer dorm building, the smoke detectors are more sensitive to heat and smoke. Other dorms, Quad 2 and Gateway, have fewer fire alarms than Quad 1. The fire alarms may be sensitive, but they are excessive.

To combat the constant alarms and students smoking in their dorms, Director of Residence Life and Housing Derrick Peterson put out an email on Jan. 28, reiterating that smoking is not allowed in the residence hall. He also stated that students that violate the Residence Life and Housing “No Smoking” policy or the VSU Student Code of Conduct section 6.01 would incur a $100 fine. Resident Director for Quad 1, Jazmyn Bremby, announced on Feb. 22 that she would be “choosing eight random rooms weekly” for room checks and reminded students that smoking is not allowed on campus.

While the administration has tried to deter students from setting off the alarm, multiple fire alarms have happened within Quad 1.

We suggest that smoking-related fire alarms should have a fine increase. When students set off the fire alarm for smoking, they have to pay a $100 fine to the school. To deter future smoking-related fire alarms, the fine amount should increase. Students should be able to receive their education without interruptions.

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