To the Editor:

In the wake of this past weekend’s tragedy in which a fire in a Prospect Street townhouse took the life of a Georgetown student (“Senior Killed in Townhouse Fire,” The Hoya, Oct. 19, 2004, A1), I feel it necessary to point out a major fire-safety related issue ignored by the university.

For the past few weeks, false fire alarms have been going off practically daily in New South, the home to some 400 students.

These alarms are not being pulled by pranksters but are set off by the construction on the building’s lobby (which was supposed to be completed around Oct. 1). Alarms are so frequent in New South that when one goes off, no one leaves.

False alarms set off by overdue construction have essentially devalued the fire alarm system to the point where, should there really be a fire, I am afraid most New South residents would wait too long to leave.

Georgetown University did not own the townhouse in the recent tragedy, but it is responsible for on-campus dormitories. The university must take action to prevent another awful tragedy on our grief-stricken campus.

Paul Liebeskind (COL ’08)

Oct. 19, 2004

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