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The Scarlet & Black

Cleveland Residents Confused Over Door Construction

Alec Maliwanag \’13 and Justin Booz pick up some homework using the newly constructed Cleveland computer lab door, constructed in case Student Affairs needs to lock the lounge. – Marfa Prokhorova

By Harley Chang

Two weeks ago, the sound of pounding hammers woke Cleveland 1st residents at 8:00 a.m. The clatter came from Facilities Management (FM) constructing a new door to the Cleveland computer lab, placed farther down the hallway than the lounge entrance, the only way to enter the lab in past years. Plans for the door were initially put forth as part of the final step in preventing people from smoking in the Cleveland lounge, according to Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life & Orientation Andrea Conner.

If the current system of randomized campus security patrols still doesn’t solve the problem of smoking within the dorm, the lounge door would be locked and fines would be put in place for violators, according to Conner. However, Conner noted that current patrols have not ran into a smoking problem so far.

The past configuration of the computer lab involves entering through the lounge—previously a smoking lounge that has been at the center of smoking complaints since the Iowa Clean Air Act banned smoking on campus in Fall 2008. Conner and FM decided it was best to make a new door to the lounge and seal off the old entrance, so that students utilizing the computer lab would not be punished if the lounge were to be closed.

The door was originally planned to be constructed during the summer. However, heavy renovations planned for Loose Hall forced the Loose construction to be moved ahead to Spring Break, according to Conner.

The construction project of the door itself largely drew indifference from Cleveland residents, but the construction lasting throughout the day for the past two weeks drew many complaints of the students in the dorm.

A student living right across from the construction who has asked his name be withheld said the noise was unbearable.

“It’s not too big of a problem for me,” he said. “I have a class at 8:00[a.m.] and I’m used to getting up early. But my roommate, his first class is at 10 [a.m.] and he’s really pissed about the whole matter. I’m just a bit upset our RLC didn’t inform us of the construction beforehand.”
Jamaland RLC Eric Vos has been talking with students with complaints about the noisy construction and dispelling their frustrations since the construction’s beginning, and blames the late warning to poor communication with FM.

“I actually had an email ready to be sent the moment FM gave me the word,” Conner said. “However, FM never informed us and I actually found out about the start of the construction from a student.”

Once Vos found out about the construction, he sent an e- mail out to residents of Jamaland explaining the construction and the miscommunication.

Conner acknowledged that the construction was happening at a time that was less than ideal for students, and that FM had been informed to begin construction at a more reasonable time of day.
“We have told FM to respect the students’ schedules by not doing anything noisy until 10 a.m., but I’m sorry to hear that didn’t happen,” Conner said. “[The whole event] wasn’t ideal and I think we would all like to try this over again if we had the chance. But when you’re in a work relationship like this, we simply accept their apology and move on.”

Conner said that it is unlikely the new door will be utilized for its cautionary purpose of closing the lounge due to smoking.

“Ever since the patrols have been set up, we’ve had zero reports of smoking from FM or security or residents. It’s really, really great to know that our concerns that we might have to shut down the lounge are not coming through,” Conner said. “So even though the door exists now, it’s just another entry point. We have no intention of locking the lounge.”

Students have also noticed the increase of compliance with the Iowa Clean Air Act.
“It hasn’t been made clear that this was done so the administration could potentially close Cleveland lounge, due to smoking,” said Cole Unger ’13, a resident of Cleveland Hall. “From what I observe, people have been smoking a lot less [in Cleveland]than last semester.”

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