Stripper Poles: Just one of the many items that are illegal in dorms

Kristyn Lebovitz

Students commonly say they just ‘didn’t know’

A residence hall director found a stripper pole bolted to the ceiling and floor of a dorm room over winter break.

Edward Moisio Jr., fire safety coordinator at Kent State, said 99 percent of students who have illegal items in their rooms offer the typical excuse: “We didn’t know we weren’t allowed to have that.”

Residence assistants and Kent State’s Fire Safety Division frequently find other, more common violations in the residence halls – stripper poles are unusual.

“I haven’t really read the handbook,” said Mark Feldman, junior political science major. He suspects that’s the case among other students, too.

Carrie Circosta, assistant residence hall director of Beall and McDowell Halls, confirms it. She said one of the main reasons students don’t know what is and isn’t illegal in the residence hall is because they don’t read the handbook or just don’t care.

What you might not have known was illegal:

&bull Holiday lights with more than 10 bulbs per strand. Also, lights may not be hung from the ceiling or beds.

&bull Any kind of lamp that is flexible, whether it’s a floor torchiere lamp or a small desk lamp.

&bull Duct tape or any other tape that can peel off the paint.

&bull Nails screwed or bolted into the wall, ceiling or floor (for example, stripper poles bolted to the ceiling).

&bull Anything on the ceiling.

&bull Pets – the most commonly found are rabbits and rats.

&bull Socks placed over the smoke detectors.

Over spring break, residence assistants and fire safety checked students’ rooms, and anything illegal either was confiscated or reported.

When Moisio finds illegal items in students’ rooms, he said he either leaves a note for the students, contacts the residence hall director or assistant residence hall director or removes the item.

“If it’s a fire hazard, I have to take care of it,” Moisio said.

Circosta said residents usually get confused about lamps and holiday lights. She said they confiscated two moving carts full of lamps during Christmas break.

“That is your home for the year, but if you think it’s going to cause damage, don’t do it,” Circosta said.

Feldman said his desk lamp was taken during winter break. He didn’t know it was illegal, and no one told him it was.

“I guess it was because of the Prentice Hall fire,” Feldman said.

A fire destroyed a Prentice Hall room last year when a torchiere lamp fell on a bean bag.

Feldman said the RAs didn’t write up any students because there were so many violations.

Moisio said three main reasons fire alarms go off are because of hair products, cooking and burnt popcorn. He said there are usually about 180 fire alarms a year.

Moisio said when he checks the rooms he tests the fire detectors and only looks at what is in plain view. He said he doesn’t look in closets or underneath the bed.

During spring break, RAs checked rooms to see if the heat was on, the trash taken out, everything unplugged (except for microfridges), windows shut and curtains closed. Residents did not have to take everything home.

Contact room and board reporter Kristyn Lebovitz at [email protected].