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For anyone living in dorms

Old 01-21-07, 12:12 AM
  #1  
Ridire123
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For anyone living in dorms

This is a question for any of my fellow college students out there living in dorms. Do you have any difficulty with your dorm regarding bike storage? Is it a problem to bring it inside? Do they have a decent area to keep your bike?

I ask because apparently the dorm I'm in now does not allow us to bring our bicycles inside for any reason. My roommate spoke directly with the building manager and apparently, according to him, it is a 'fire hazard.' I'm quite certain it doesn't break any fire code because A) I've never heard of it, and B) Dorms across town allow bikes inside. This is particularly disconcerting considering they had 6 bikes stolen from their property in a two week period, even with security cameras and 24/7 staff.

I suppose this question can really apply to anyone not living in their own home, but rather a housing complex.

Anywho, part vent, part curiousity!
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Old 01-21-07, 01:15 AM
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That's harsh and really unusual.

Our school provided a fairly secure bike room inside each of the dorms. I personally kept mine in my room to avoid the klutzes or the off-chance that someone should leave the door open.

I'm really surprised by this. The only way a bike could be a fire hazard (they're not exactly flammable, especially compared to history papers) is as an obstacle, which is obviously something that can be avoided with even just a tiny bit of responsibility.

I'd suggest first talking to the manager yourself to find out for certain his reasons (preferably a written rule that he refers to). Be civil and reasonable or he'll get defensive. Look for a compromise. If he won't budge, try a petition. I'm sure even some of your non-riding friends would be willing to sign it. Is the dorm directly affiliated with your school? If he still won't budge, try to get the school's residence department involved.

Off the record (because we weren't actually supposed to) we rode our bikes in the hallway all the time...and skateboards, and shopping carts, and cardboard boxes, and I think one guy even an electric scooter.
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Old 01-21-07, 02:02 AM
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I stored it under my bed after lifting it with those 6" risers you can get at target or walmart. It's your room, its your property. If it's such a fire hazard because it can get in the way, tell them the desks they supply are harder to move out of the doorway than your bike is.
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Old 01-21-07, 08:36 AM
  #4  
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Yeah. My dorm (a town house) has plenty of room to keep a bike but we're not allowed to keep it inside. On the 2nd floor, theres what amounts to like a balcony overlooking the floor below. No one ever uses this space and theres a table with chairs there. Perfect spot for a bike if you ask me, but its a 'fire hazard' keeping it there. I dont understand that. Bikes cant catch fire, so it might get in the way? Theres plenty of other stuff that would get in the way and catch fire that they dont call a fire hazard. I think its ridicolous. So i have to go to the nearby dorm and use the bike room there. Only a few dorms have them, most are on the outside, but for the amount of bikes in there there isnt enough room. And i dont like the idea of sharing the room with that many bikes, especially since mine is worth more then the other 6 bikes that are in there. The people just dont take care of their bikes.
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Old 01-21-07, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
I'm really surprised by this. The only way a bike could be a fire hazard (they're not exactly flammable, especially compared to history papers) is as an obstacle, which is obviously something that can be avoided with even just a tiny bit of responsibility.
This was exactly my first reaction when I heard the reasoning behind it. I suppose there could be people that don't have any common sense and leave their bikes in poor places, but considering most college students are constantly in and out of their dorms, I doubt it would be blocking a doorway.

I'll head down and talk to the building manager personally next chance I get, hopefully this week. I know I heard something about possibily building a storage shed outside, but for all I know that could be 4 years off when I'm done. I really wish they had something in the meantime that was a tad bit safer and showed a little care for my investment.

Do you guys really think a petition would get anything anywhere? I mentioned this down at an LBS and they recommended a petition as well, so I was already considering it, I'm just not sure it would do much good.
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Old 01-21-07, 10:02 AM
  #6  
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I think the best thing is raising the bed and keeping the bike under it, if you can somehow get the bike in there.
But, I was not supposed to have a car and a motorcycle at college. I just rented a garage.
In a college town lots of people rent out garage space for the kids who need space. Works for bicycles too.
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Old 01-21-07, 10:39 AM
  #7  
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flipping ignore it. it's your personal property. tell the RA to "stuff it" and walk by. What are they going to do, go into your room and confiscate your bike? Find a way to store it, and bring it in. They're not going to physically prevent you from going to your room with your PERSONAL PROPERTY, are they?


Tell them (tongue in cheek) it's not a bike, its a big screen TV with wheels. Insist it's not a bike, its a microwave oven. whatever. Try going ludicrous, theater of the absurd.

Go talk to the dean or your advisor. Regulating your personal property under the guise of 'fire hazard' is so lame. Does your roomate bicycle? It sounds like the roomate is the one with the real problem here...

Last edited by Bekologist; 01-21-07 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 01-21-07, 11:07 AM
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I just purchsed a new bicycle and my roommate bikes as well, so it is a problem for both of us. In response to your question, according to our student guidebook or whatever for living in the dorm, yes... They will come and confiscate the bike if it's in our room. I understand exactly what you're saying, it's how I feel as well and I think the rule is absolutely ridiculous, but I feel somewhat helpless. I find the 'fire hazard' thing fairly interesting especially considering this is primarily an engineering dorm where almost every student probably has a computer running 24/7, along with all sorts of other electronics.

There's really no way to 'sneak it it' either, as there's a front desk that is always staffed right by the only real entrance (talk about fire hazard =P)

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Old 01-21-07, 11:32 AM
  #9  
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from the fire marshal's point of view, the problem with bikes isn't that they'll catch fire and burn, it's that they are usually put in halls, narrow walkways and balconies that are needed for exiting from the unit and for firemen's access to the unit in case of emergency. tripping hazzard and egress obstruction. the fm is looking out for the saftey of his guys as much as the residents

a dorm living agreement is like any other lease and the landlord can set "reasonable" conditions. if they have a written prohibition on bike, they can enforce it. you can ignore it, just be willing to accept the consequenses.
on the other hand, if the school does prohibit bikes in the dorms they need to provide a secure place to lockup, and if bike theft is a problem they need to do something serious to stop it. maybe you could ask for a basment storeroom to be set aside, or for bike lockers out front

could try a folder, or a cheap beater for everyday use and find a location off-campus to keep a nicer bike.

Last edited by cc_rider; 01-22-07 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 01-21-07, 11:50 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by JPradun
It's your room, its your property.
Originally Posted by Bekologist
flipping ignore it. it's your personal property. tell the RA to "stuff it" and walk by. What are they going to do, go into your room and confiscate your bike?
No, they're not going to confiscate your bike... at least not permanently. College and/or building security, however, does seem to feel a certain amount of power that they don't exactly have. So, they may take it and make you jump through hoops to get it back.

However, what they can and very well may do is evict you.

While the bike is your property, the room is not. You rent it, you don't own it and therefore you are subject to the owner's rules.

A better approach that sneaking it in or telling your RA it's a TV (creative as that may be) is to go to the school paper. Paint the policy as the school/building's completely irrational policy, adding to the obesity epidemic by discouraging physical activity, etc. I'd also write the Dean and maybe the President of the school and explain the policy and tell them that if you leave your bike in the public area - because you have no alternative - and it gets stolen, they are liable and you will take action for them to replace the bike. They do provide the 24/7 security and therefore have liability since you are required to rely on it.
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Old 01-21-07, 12:05 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
flipping ignore it. it's your personal property. tell the RA to "stuff it" and walk by. What are they going to do, go into your room and confiscate your bike? Find a way to store it, and bring it in. They're not going to physically prevent you from going to your room with your PERSONAL PROPERTY, are they?...
I actually agree with this advice but have one thing to add. Try first going to your local fire department and see if you can get any written document on official letterhead confirming that proper storage of a bicycle does NOT constitute a fire hazard. Then when you are confronted by the RA or any other loudmouth, whip out your documents and simply say: 'IN YOUR FACE!"
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Old 01-21-07, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridire123
This is a question for any of my fellow college students out there living in dorms. Do you have any difficulty with your dorm regarding bike storage? Is it a problem to bring it inside? Do they have a decent area to keep your bike?
The rule at my school is: "Each residential area has an outside bike rack where you can lock your bicycle. You may bring your bike inside if you remove the front wheel and carry your bike to avoid damaging the floors." It's thought of as a potential fire hazard, if it gets in someone's way (like extra furniture). But, I've never had a problem on the few instances I've wanted to take it inside, and I lived with the RA of my building last year. I'd say most RAs are likely going to be pretty understanding if you explain your situation when/if they catch you-- in terms of rule breaking, they probably have bigger things to worry about than a bike. Writing people up is a hassle.

The dorm I currently live in has some decent outdoor bike racks, but there aren't many and they only hold two bikes a piece. (there are, I think, six). I'm pretty comfortable leaving my bike in the racks, my major worry isn't theft so much as vandalism. And I can fix my bike, just not replace it entirely.
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Old 01-21-07, 12:31 PM
  #13  
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"its a new style rolling clothes rack, mr security occifer..... see, my clothes are hanging all over it!"
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Old 01-21-07, 01:38 PM
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heh
no bikes in the dorms
but bongs, kegs, and sex toys are allowed
nice to see where our educators have their priorities
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Old 01-21-07, 01:52 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Ridire123

There's really no way to 'sneak it it' either, as there's a front desk that is always staffed right by the only real entrance (talk about fire hazard =P)
If you can't engineer a way to get your bike or other "contraband" like girls, kegs, etc.... into your dorm room without going by the main desk, you flunk college 101.

Park outside one of the exit only doors, in thru the front door, then down to the exit door.... engineer a set of hoists to be deployed out the window. start using a huge box. Bribe the front desk staff with beer and cookies. I'd start off hanging stuff off it before you enter, then telling the front desk staff its a rolling clothes rack you just bought off Craig's list and think maybe you got ripped off.

Your school sounds lame-o. talk to your advisers, the local fire department, etc. get a letter into the student paper chiding the administration for discouraging safe personal property storage, discouraging students from bicycling, etc...

critical mass-type bike ride (publicized to a student paper reporter and photographer beforehand) thru the halls of the student union would also do the trick....

Boy, I sure do miss college......
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Old 01-21-07, 02:07 PM
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Well, to my knowledge bikes are the only thing you'd have difficulty getting in They don't care if you have a group of people overnight, as long as they leave their ID at the front desk (even that isn't necessary, really). Windows have permanent screens on them, so even though I'm on the first floor I can't just toss it in. Even if I could get the screen off, there are fines and crap assosciated with that as well. I'm trying to find my copy of our lease right now (online is a dead link), but I think I may have left it at home. If it isn't in the lease, I feel I have a better chance fighting it since I technically didn't sign the student handbook with the information in it. I'm def going to try and fight this in some way or another.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:13 PM
  #17  
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There is no real reason to prohibit bicycles except power trip for management + the general North American "just in case" precaution....

When I lived in the dorms, I stored my bike inside... for a while. I got sick of it because of having to deal with several flights of stairs every time I wanted to bring it in or out so eventually I started leaving it outdoors where it got stolen - but when I wanted to, nobody prohibited bicycles. In fact, they were specifically mentioned in the residence code: bikes were allowed in single rooms with no restrictions and in double rooms if the roommate didn't object.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:45 PM
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Take the front wheel off and call it bicycle parts. Worked wonders for me.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:50 PM
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FIRST FLOOR and you can't figure out how to circumvent the screening????

Come on, its likely just a special screwdriver. clip the heads and replace with new bolts at the end of the year. It's COLLEGE!!!!!
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Old 01-21-07, 05:59 PM
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- get a cheap Dahon folder w/a carry bag...
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Old 01-21-07, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
heh
no bikes in the dorms
but bongs, kegs, and sex toys are allowed
nice to see where our educators have their priorities
Shortly after I graduated, my alma mater banned bikes from campus.

They have since relented, but for a while there, it was a no bike campus.
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Old 01-21-07, 11:57 PM
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1. get out of the dorms, ASAP
2. get a folding bike to keep in your room or a beater bike that no one will bother with stealing if locked outside for as long as you're still stuck in the dorms
3. move into a bike friendly house... your off-campus housing department (if your school has one which it should) should be able to help you with this
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Old 01-22-07, 01:32 AM
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get a beater or atleast something that looks like one. Keep your nice bike in the trunk of your car and ride a beater for the day to day or maybe your cycling club could help you with this.
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Old 01-22-07, 05:51 AM
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I wouldn't dream of taking my road bike onto campus, I pity those who have no other option. At my uni there are largish bike sheds outside most halls which are reasonably secure, but if anyone had an expensive bike and wanted to store it in their room I don't think they would have minded. After first year most people move out into shared privately rented houses anyway, at mine we have a locked garden shed out back which we all use for bike storage and it feels a lot safer.
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Old 01-22-07, 06:47 AM
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As a campus POLICE OFFICER, allow me to say that there is some very bad, and some very good advice given so far. Ignore Bekologist, his is the type that I get to deal with on a daily basis. CC rider, o-dog and Demit have the right ideas. Part of going to college is proving beyond a doubt that you can and will jump through the hoops that they place in front of you. The reason for this is that you will be doing that very thing for the rest of your working life. The "management" really doesn't have a power trip or actually even care (as long as they don't own the room/building), except for the fact that they have to follow the same rules, and no one likes it when someone else is percieved to have special privileges.
One thing to keep in mind: I don't know if your school has security, police or both, but I very often get to surprise students with an arrest under a statute that they had no idea even existed. If you are in Colorado, for example, there is a law that basically states that a state school can make rules, and if you break the rules you are in violation of the statute, so you get punished by both the school AND the courts, and it is NOT double jeapordy. Remember, ignorance is no excuse, and some of the suggestions above, while creative, will not help you one iota when it comes to criminal charges.
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