Laurie Taylor Column

November 11, 2005

City University employs "room police" to detect academics who fail to make full use of booked rooms - The Times Higher November 4

From: Maureen

To: All Members of Department

As you may know, this university now operates a "spatial optimalisation" policy that requires that all spaces be used to maximum effect. The head of human resources has appointed a snatch squad of "space police" who report observed derelictions to the Central Space and Spatialisation Committee, which determines the appropriate penalty.

A number of "space decrements" were detected in this department during October. The details of these offences and the penalties incurred follow.

Seminar Room D161

Booked by Dr Piercemuller for second-year seminars on Tuesday mornings. Room opened by space police on four consecutive Tuesdays and found empty except for scrawled blackboard message reading "Back in five".

Total unused space: 8 sq m. Fine: £200.

Lecture Hall PX113

Booked for first-year lecture series "Getting started" by Dr Quintock.

Friday afternoons. Average number of students present: eight. Average number of unused seats: 314. Fine: £500.

Seminar rooms D142 and D167

The committee noted with approval that extra student space had been made available in these rooms by the installation of an overhead tier of chairs. They were less impressed by Dr Quintock's practice in D182 of requiring overflow students to sit on the shoulders of more punctual classmates.

Senior Common Room, Kinnock College

Wednesday, October 19, 5.30pm. Staff-graduate seminar by Professor G. Lapping on "Globalisation - a universal phenomenon?"

Number present: 4. Possible armchair accommodation: 48. Space decrement: 44. Fine: £250.

Staff bike shed

The committee also considered a personal communication that claimed that on three occasions Mr Odgers' Raven tandem cycle had seriously overlapped the space in the neighbouring bay. Fine: £20.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

Love and Space Maureen

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