SAFETY RISKS AT STATE COLLEGES ABOUND - But Let Us Worry About That Goal Post

(10/27/2003)

By Bob Weaver OPINION AND COMMENT

Thousands of West Virginia college students live in campus housing without sprinkler systems or proper smoke detectors, according to the Board of Risk and Insurance Management.

The Loss Prevention Report said the schools had 1,468 safety violations, some to the state fire codes or other regulations.

While the inspections have been done for years, this was the first time a full report has been put together for insurance purposes.

It is likely in most privately insured situations, the fire insurance policy would go sky high, or be canceled.

WVU alone had 561 violations, more than double the number of problems found at other schools. The study does not include those "wonderful" housing units rented to students in Morgantown's run-down sections.

I won't disturb you with my Morgantown rat tales.

There seem to be plenty of couches that periodically need to be taken to the street and burned.

“There are places out there that I think we have some serious risk exposure,” said Chancellor J. Michael Mullen.

“Residence halls that are not sprinkled, compliance with having fire alarms in each and every sleeping space — these are the kinds of things that attract attention and, unfortunately, they cost money.”

Schools could not put a price tag on bringing their own housing up to standards, but it would cost millions.

Ed Grose, senior vice president for operations at Marshall University, put the price tag at $2.6 million for his school.

Oh, well, it's just housing for our children.

More attention needs to be paid to what many consider normal college student behavior, disgusting as it is - like tearing goal posts down. That is a safety issue, they said, that deserves pepper spray.

Those students need some high-handed behavioral modification.

They'll love every minute of it, and return another day.


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