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Stricter penalties announced for candle policy violations

October 4, 2019

The Bowdoin student body received an email on Thursday afternoon announcing stricter penalties for students who do not comply with the College’s prohibition of candles in all campus housing.

Beginning today, consequences for having an open flame in campus housing may include a hearing before the Judicial Board, which may result in suspension or dismissal.

In the email, Dean of Students Kristina Bethea Odejimi and Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential and Student Life Mike Ranen prefaced the announcement by writing that the Office of Safety and Security and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety found a large number of candles during the fire drills that they conducted during the second week of school. Odejimi and Ranen cited the two fires started by candles that caused damage and injuries in on-campus residences last spring, saying that open flames will inevitably cause accidents with potentially devastating consequences.

They added that students who have candles for religious, memorial or ceremonial reasons are able to use them but are not able to bring them into their residences and should contact Eduardo Pazos Palma, director of the Rachel Lord Center for Religious and Spiritual Life to make arrangements.

“This is about student health and safety, which is our driving priority,” Odejimi and Ranen wrote. “As we and other campuses have learned in tragic ways, the risks associated with open flames are just too great.”

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