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Student’s dorm hot tub lands him in hot water
After a month of relaxing in 100-degree-plus water whenever he wanted, one Ohio University student’s dream of a hot tub in his dorm room will soon be dammed.
Residential Housing told Kevin Lenahan, a senior studying mathematics, sociology and history, that his about 1,800-pound, 200-gallon Aero Spa inflatable hot tub must be removed from his James Hall room by noon.
The hot tub is typically kept at 103-104 degrees, has more than 130 jets and has had as many as eight people inside at one time, Lenahan said.
Lenahan said he did his homework before installing the hot tub at the end of January and that it is not in violation of Residential Housing’s rules.
“I didn’t just do this overnight; I did my research. I looked over the housing code, and it wasn’t in violation of health or safety (procedures), in my opinion,” Lenahan said. “Once I did my research, I knew it was going to work.”
Lenahan’s roommate Kyle Crawford, a sophomore studying restaurants, hotels and tourism, said they used 27-gallon containers to fill the hot tub with water from the janitor’s closet.
Though Residential Housing regulations do not explicitly forbid a hot tub in dorm rooms, the water and heat violate several rules, said Judy Piercy, associate director for residential education.
“It doesn’t violate a particular rule; we don’t have a rule that says, ‘No hot tubs,’ ” Piercy said. “But the auxiliary heater and that volume of water is not allowed in rooms, and anything that contributes to an excess of humidity is not allowed.”
Despite the violations of multiple rules, Lenahan and Crawford would be punished only if they do not comply in removing the hot tub, said Christine Sheets, executive director of Residential Housing.
Piercy said she was first told about the hot tub on Monday and met with Lenahan on Tuesday.
“I came (into the meeting) with the mentality to work with (Piercy), and she had the facade of showing similar interests,” Lenahan said. “(But) she stood by her initial decision that it was a risk to others.”
Sheets said that, when in doubt, students should check with administrators about the feasibility of unconventional additions to residence-hall rooms before making an investment.
“We looked at this from a reasonable expectation of what would be acceptable in a residence-hall room and from a health and safety perspective,” Sheets said.
Lenahan said he will empty the hot tub by noon but will continue to defend his dorm-room dream by appealing to Dianne Bouvier, the university ombudsman.
The water will most likely be siphoned or pumped out the window of Lenahan and Crawford’s second-floor room and onto West Green.