Dorm Inspection, Invasion of Privacy or Fire Safety?
Dorm Inspection, Invasion of Privacy or Fire Safety?
  • Reporter Lee Suh-young
  • 승인 2010.12.08 20:02
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▲ Some rooms are warned of violating the regulations.

“They took pictures in my room when my roommate and I went outside. It was totally an invasion of privacy.”
 Each semester, the Dormitory Union conducts an inspection of the dorm rooms on campus. Housing staff and resident assistants check rooms for safety hazards such as flammable materials, drying racks in the corridor and unauthorized items such as rice cookers. In the latest dorm inspection, more than 140 students earned black marks, and some of them are in danger of having their right to reside in the dorm taken away.

“Although we would prefer students to be in the dorm while we do the inspection, it is not a requirement,” Son Jin-young, in charge of the female dormitory, said. “Our job is to check what is around the area that could be a hazard to students and make sure the dorms are safe.”

Students react to the inspection

Resident students living on campus voiced their reactions to the inspections. Freshman Song Jin-yi (10, Undecided), said she had no problems with the inspection. “I thought it was fine They noticed us several times before the inspection” Song said.

Other students, however, were not pleased with the inspections. A student argued the relevance of the inspections. “Although they would check prohibited items, in-room inspections cannot find out a violation if students hide the stuff.” In the last inspection, a student was exposed as having hid a rice cooker in a snack room during inspections.

Although many students felt uncomfortable with the inspection of doom rooms, according to the annually issued University Housing Guide, the fact that housing office staff or dormitory director can inspect at any time, and any other inspections are carried out by the dorm union in commission of dormitory director is defined clearly.

A letter system for refuting

“We took photographic evidence of violations to back up claims if both roommates were not in the room during the inspection,” said, Jeon Jin-seong the president of the Dormitory Union. “We try hard to accommodate student’s convenience.” In order to complement the investigation, especially when conducted while both students were not in the room, a letter system was inducted. In the last inspection If the violated items did not belong to students, they could  refute the violation by sending a letter. At the moment, more than 40 students sent a letter that refuted the dorm rule violation.

At this time, the dorm investigation was conducted during Nov. 1 (Mon) and Nov. 2 (Tue) at 20:00~22:00, at times when the Student Union considered that most students were supposed to be in their rooms. It would have reduced the level of complaints if the date of dorm inspection could be chosen by the individual students. Also, although the letter system has been inducted more than two weeks ago, half of students who would possibly send the letter have not yet done so.

“There is lots of trial and error,” Son said. “But one thing is clear: we work for students’ safety.”