Obscure rules can cause issues for students

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on May 7, 2012 in Rat News | Subscribe

When students move into the residence halls at the beginning of
the school year- they are given a calendar handbook, which has
several pages of rules and regulations pertaining to Eastern’s

Many of them, besides noise regulation and fire safety
standards, are not discussed at initial floor meetings and go

Mark Hudson, director of University Housing and Dining Services,
said many of these little-known rules have come about due to
incidents in the past when rules have not been in place.

“We are always concerned about people’s safety and well-being,”
Hudson said.

Most on-campus students know that candles and incense are not
allowed in the residence halls, but crepe paper, potpourri and
other combustibles are also not allowed in the rooms.

Another unknown rule is the inability to have posters on room

“(Having posters on your doors) is something the fire marshals
are particularly intent about,” Hudson said.

Hudson said doors mainly covered with combustibles can be a
major safety hazard.

Amanda Krch, a freshman special education major, said her old
roommate was constantly burning candles, which was one reason they
did not get along.

Krch said she talked to her resident assistant about her
roommate on more than one occasion.

“She was a fire hazard,” Krch said.

Another rule students may not realize is a problem is the “sharp
object hazard.”

Eastern’s calendar handbook states: “Students are not to place
objects such as razor blades, broken glass, and needles in regular
trash bags or the trash chutes.”

Hudson said if students have issues with needles they can
contact University Housing and Dining Services.

“If people are diabetic or have other types of issues with
needles, they can request a container from (University Housing and
Dining Services) and we will provide it for them,” Hudson said.

He also said it protects the workers that handle the

“Ball playing” in residence halls is also against the rules, and
students can get in trouble for it all the time.

Bobby Galuski, a sophomore English major, said he has faced this
problem in Carman Hall.

“A bunch of us were playing soccer, basically just kicking the
ball around the floor, and we kept hitting the ceiling and doors,”
he said.

Galuski and his friends were given a warning by their resident
assistant for playing ball in the residence hall.

“There’s also a rule (in the handbook) that says you need to
follow the directive of university staff, so if the staff says
stop, stop,” Hudson said.

Galuski said another time he was warned by RAs was during a Nerf
gun fight with his friends.

“We hid everywhere: open rooms, the lounge, bathroom stalls,
inside those giant blue garbage cans in the lounge, and one small
guy crammed under the sink in the lounge,” Galuski said.

He said they were caught by two RAs, but were not written

The next day, there was a “No Nerf guns” sign posted up.

Rules can be instated by RAs when they believe it is necessary,
Hudson said.

Around this time of year, Charleston is likely to get snow and
can result in snowball fights across campus.

According to the calendar handbook, snowball fights are not
allowed within 100 feet of buildings.

“Sometimes tightly packed or icy snowballs can break windows or
damage buildings,” Hudson said.

A similar rule applies to water balloons and water guns.

“When water balloons hit on the floors near buildings, they can
become very slippery and dangerous,” Hudson said.

Pets besides fish in residence halls are not allowed, but
situations arise frequently concerning other animals.

Kelsey Zak, a sophomore mathematics major, said she knew someone
who was reprimanded for having pet rats in her residence hall.

“One of the girls on my floor was written up for having a hermit
crab,” Zak said.

Hudson said he encourages all students to read the handbook so
they are informed of these little-known rules and to prevent any
future safety hazards.

“We’re just looking out for the greater good; we’re not trying
to be killjoys of every fun thing (students) do,” he said.

Robyn Dexter can be reached at
581-2812 or redexter@eiu.edu.

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