UK’s residence hall Blanding 1 has banned the possession of “pillows, head rests, and/or any other type of foam, feather, synthetic filler, or down filler cushions,” citing the possible danger of a hall-wide fire due to pillow abuse. The provision, including all pillows “whether independently functional or covered in a cotton case,” will go into effect later this week.
“While residence halls on UK’s campus already prohibit potentially dangerous items, including candles, toasters, and lamps with plastic shades, there are still many items in rooms that could potentially cause a fire,” said Andrew Post, a resident adviser for B1. “Banning pillows is a major step in the right direction.”
When asked whether there are other potentially hazardous items that he would like to see removed from the premises, Post cited bed sheets, blankets, comforters, cotton or silk clothing, ironing boards, posters, paper towels, and lighters, all of which “have a deceptively common tendency to self-combust.”
Residence halls are usually not allowed to come up with new rules in the middle of the semester, especially when the rules are independent of other residence halls on campus, but (at least some of) B1’s staff decided that this was too important of an issue to postpone.
“Blanding 1 is the hall which potential future students of this university pass through on tours,” B1 hall director Angela Kelley said between nervous glances at a highly flammable newspaper nearby. Kelley was referring to the fact that B1 is included in the tour of UK that is offered to interested high school students.
“It wouldn’t make a good impression if the hall was on fire when prospective students walked through it, would it?” Kelley said.
Despite the benefits associated with the new provision, B1 residents appeared visibly upset upon learning of the upcoming pillow prohibition.
“That’s bullshit,” said resident Alyssa Johnston. “What the fuck am I going to sleep on now?”
Other residents have already started making plans to deal with the situation. One possibility mentioned included opening up extra space for pillows in the hiding spots around the rooms. However, according to resident Charlie Combs, the safe spots in his room are already full of other restricted substances, including “brown vanilla sugar scented candles, a few handles of Smirnoff vodka, and three different strains of weed.”
Residents have even put up “FREE PILLOW” posters around the residence hall, protesting the amendment.
However, according to Post, the residents need to realize that these measures will help protect them in the long run, just like current stipulations banning alcohol, cigarettes, and five-headed lamps.
B1’s decision also has support throughout UK’s administration. “I commend Blanding 1 for making this decision,” said UK’s fire marshal, adding that measures like these should have been in place “ever since the 2005 lumbar incident— who could forget that shit show?”