Jake Wakefield has to avoid cables, extension cords and wires
when he walks through his room.
Wakefield and his roommates, who live in a quad in Westfall
Hall, have three television sets, four computers, eight video-game
systems, a stereo, a VCR and a DVD all plugged into the three
outlets in their room.
“Its fun and it gives us stuff to do,” Wakefield said.
Wakefield, a freshman open option student, said he tries to
avoid having everything on at the same time because he fears the
consequences of that much electricity running through the room.
“If you don’t know what you’re doing, something might explode.
It’s really complicated,” he said.
Anders Schulte, one of Wakefield’s roommates, said he also
wonders about all the electronic devices in the room.
“Every day I grow increasingly curious about what would happen
if we turned everything on,” Schulte said.
Although Schulte, a history freshman, joked about the
possibility of blowing hole in wall from all of the electricity, he
said he is concerned that all of the electronics may cause a short
“There definitely should be more outlets. There’s only one in
the room,” Wakefield said.
According to the CNN Web site, Wakefield and his roommates are
representatives of the new generation of college kids who are
trying to bring their highly-wired lifestyles into residence halls
that were built before this technology.
Many schools are forced to upgrade the electronic systems to
prevent safety hazards and shorts in electricity.
The increase is a problem in most colleges including CSU.
“Students today bring a lot of things that need to be plugged
in,” said Mary Ellen Sinnwell, director of Residence Life for
Sinnwell blames problems in electricity on the outdated designs
of the residence halls.
“The problem is that the buildings were designed a long time
ago. The sheer volume of things that need to be plugged in for
students in the ’60s and ’70s versus students in 2003 has
increased,” Sinnwell said.
Sinnwell said the residence halls do not have a policy
restricting the number of electronics plugged into the outlets but
do encourage students to use power strips to avoid the consequences
of the increase of electricity.
“We just want students to be fire-safe,” Sinnwell said.
Sinnwell said long-term plans for handling the electronics
increase include making more up to date systems in new residence
The new residence hall currently in construction will have a
more efficient system.
“It’s an upgraded building with upgraded electrical wiring,”
Although Sinnwell said the new building will be able to handle
the increase in electricity, there will not be more outlets
available in the new residence hall rooms.
“It will be the same typical room,” she said.