The Cheat Sheet

By The Columbia Chronicle

Dance Center ready to settle closer to campus

Dwayne Ervin

Campus Correspondent

After 21 years, the Dance Center of Columbia is finally moving to the South Loop.

The Dance Center, which has been at 4730 N. Sheridan since 1977, is considered to be the Midwest’s premier presenter of contemporary dance and annually draws around 40,000 people to its performances and other public events.

According to Richard Woodbury, acting chair of the Dance Department, the Dance Center has wanted to move to the South Loop for 20 years. The college took action on the new building proposal around the end of the spring semester of this year.

The new building will contain a 275-seat performance space, classrooms, studios, rehearsal space, faculty offices and a student lounge. According to Woodbury, construction for the building is set to start in December and the move-in date will be sometime next summer. Woodbury confirmed that there will be classes in the new building in the fall ‘99 semester.

“The commute for most students is about 40 minutes from the Loop,” said Woodbury. The move will make dance students more involved in the college. Woodbury said that there are 125 dance majors as well as many other students who take dance classes as electives.

The Dance Center holds three student events per month in the theater along with professional performances, according to Woodbury. They also sponsor “Dance Africa.”

The new building will house all of the dance classes: Tai Chi, Yoga, Tap, Jazz, African Dance, Musical Theater Dance, as well as Modern Ballet Dance.

“The new building is a homecoming and we get to join the rest of the college,” Woodbury said.

Bianca Blair, sophomore Performance Dance major, loves the idea of the new building because of the bigger facilities.

Blair also feels that more studio space will mean fewer complaints from dance students.

“I am excited that we will be near (the rest of the campus) and be able to mingle with other departments.”

Residents awakened repeatedly by false alarms

Kimberly A. Brehm

Staff Writer

Columbia’s Residence Center is currently experiencing a recurring problem from last semester: fire alarms going off in the middle of the night because someone decided to pull the alarm as a prank.

The fire alarm sounded on Oct. 28 at 12:30 a.m., Oct. 31 at 1:45 a.m. and Nov. 1 at 5:45 a.m. Each time the Chicago Fire Department had to respond and inspect the Residence Center for any smoke or fire. Each time, every resident and staff member had to evacuate the building, standing outside in their pajamas in the cold losing valuable sleep time. But there was never any indication of smoke or fire found within the building.

According to the Director or the Residence Center, Mary Oakes, and Assistant Director, Kelli Collins, false fire alarms are a typical problem among college campuses. Oakes said, “We clearly understand that something has to be done about this problem and we are taking this quite seriously.” Oakes and Collins both feel that whomever is responsible for the false alarms, if caught, should be evicted from the Residence Center for endangering the lives of everyone involved.

Both Oakes and Collins are investigating leads to find out just who is pulling the alarms. They assure that the director of security for Columbia and the Chicago Fire Department are assisting them in finding the culprit.

Collins said that the student residents are upset about the interruptions of their sleep. She said, “Students are ticked off enough now that if they have any inkling as to who is behind the false alarms, they will let us know.” “Hopefully,” she said, “someone will come forward to help us fin being considered.

Collins was quick to point out that the Chicago Fire Department has been very understanding and supportive during the false alarms. Their response time has not changed, even though they are visiting the Residence Center frequently. Collins said even ten fined yet.

But students may not be aware of the direct costs to them regarding the false fire alarms. Oakes said, ” Students are fined for the extra services needed by the Residence Center, such as building services and engineers.” The last false alarm produced a broken pull station which had to be replaced. All of these additional costs are divided amongst the residents.

Additional fees are not the only concern for Columbia’s residents. Oakes stressed, “All residents must leave the building, even if the resident believes it is a false alarm. We cannot have students risking their lives in case of a real fire.”

Oakes said that the rooms are not inspected during a fire alarm, but if a student does not leave the building, disciplinary action will be taken and the student will incur a monetary fine. She said, “All students must react to the sound of the alarm as if there were a real fire. Remember, it is not the flames that kill but the inhalation of smoke that does the most harm.”

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