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March 17, 1988 - Image 51

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-17

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A Stress Mess
* at Stanford
Forget those minor wor-
ries about exams and pa-
pers. The students who
used to live in Stanford's Roble
Hall know about real, knee-
buckling stress-as in San An-
dreas Fault. Their 70-year-old
dorm was found to be seismical-
ly unsafe during a routine
testing last December, and all
296 occupants were quickly
moved out. Roble-now known
as "Rubble Hall"-is the only
Stanford dorm to be evacuated
for being, as Dean of Student
Affairs Jim Lyons told the occu-
pants, "structurally unsound
to withstand a major earth-
quake." Because it was built
before the enactment of a 1933
state law requiring the rein-
forcement of all new struc-
tures, Roble's walls are made
of hollow clay tile, not the steel-
enforced concrete or wood
used in other dorms.
Many Roble evacuees vent-
ed rumblings of their own upon
learning they would be up-
rooted. Denise Clark, 21, a resi-
dent assistant, said, "People
were just completely shaken
up." To ease the tremors,
Stanford hired professional
movers to relocate the Roble
refugees to makeshift quarters
both on and off campus, in-
cluding study areas, libraries
and basements. One student
really had lousy luck: she had to
move out of temporary lodg-
ings in a basement when asbes-
tos was found in the pipe insu-
lation. "That was hell," said
Elizabeth Osgood. "I was pret-
ty exasperated." While some
students thought the univer-
sity should have subsidized
rents or leased a block of near-
by apartments, others were just
glad they had moved out be-
fore the Big One.

must be guarded until day-
break while the latex dries, to
ensure that no other group
can claim it.
Invariably, some foolishly
use water-based paint for their
messages, which then dissolve
into illegibility at the first sign
of soggy weather. And some
guards have failed to be reso-
lute in their mission: a few
years ago, a woman student
lured away the ROTC cadets
from their posts by staging a
fainting spell.
JOHN FRIEDMANN in Pittsburgh
Therapy by
You've failed your ac-
counting midterm, your
girlfriend dumped you
and your best friend's out of
town. What's a depressed stu-
dent to do? At the University of
Minnesota, he can turn to a
computerized shrink. Students
who participate in the school's
Therapeutic Learning Pro-
gram, set up as a research
project last fall by psychology
professor David Wark, use a
computer to discern sources of
their stress and receive a
printout to help resolve trou-
bles. It takes a real live coun-
selor, however, to interpret the
data. "The computer becomes
a cotherapist," says Wark. "It's
not designed to give recom-

Get the message? Carnegie Mellon's oft-painted wooden fence

This Fence Is
Really Posted
What's certain to draw
more attention to your
cause than a flier
taped on a dining-hall wall?
Well, a 30-foot-long fence
that's planted in the middle of
campus. At Carnegie Mellon,
students take brushes in hand
to paint the 65-year-old struc-
ture with messages. The Fence
was built in 1923 so seniors
would have a place to hang

out. That mission failed, but
once the Fence was painted
as a lark, a tradition was
born. Now the tradition is so
popular that the wood is be-
ginning to collapse under its
weight: students layer on an
estimated 70 coats of paint
each year.
The process entails an elab-
orate protocol. "You have to
stay up most of the night,"
says Katrin Wesner, a senior
whose sorority has often deco-
rated the Fence. Daytime artis-
tic expression is not permitted
and, once painted, the Fence

Not their fault: Displaced
dormers at Rubble Hall'

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