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Know Your Rights (About Candles)

Happy Holidays! Barnard Housing sent out an email yesterday, just in time for the start of Chanukah, notifying students that not only are they forbidden to light candles in their room, simple possession is also forbidden. Even if you’re just holding them for a friend, it’s against the rules, kids. In its divine wisdom, however, Housing has designated candle-lighting zones and times when candles may be lit. This begs the question: where does one keep her candles when they are not being used legally? Ah well. Full email after the jump.

From: <>
Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 8:10 PM
Subject: Holiday Observance – Candle Lighting

Dear Residential Students,

As the holiday season begins, all of us in Residential Life and Housing would like to send along our best wishes for a successful completion to your semester and for a happy and healthy holiday season.

The holiday season is filled with special occasions and traditions, which have an impact on our entire community.  We would like for everyone to be safe in their observance of the holiday season.  With this in mind, please be reminded that the possession and lighting of candles in the residence halls is prohibited.  We will do our best to accommodate as many observances as possible providing they are safe for the entire community.

For example, this Chanukah season (December 1-8) lighting of candles will ONLY be allowed in the Sulzberger Lobby and the Second Floor Lounge in 600.  However, if you would like to light your own Menorah, you are welcome to do so in the Kraft Center/Hillel building (606 W. 115th).  In collaboration with Rabbi Yonah and with the help of student volunteers, one Menorah will be lit at the following times each night:

Wednesday  (12/1)
Sulzberger Lobby: 5:15pm and 7:30pm (community lighting at 7:30pm with donuts & music!)
Building 600 (2nd Floor Lounge): 6:30pm

Thursday (12/2)
Sulzberger Lobby: 5:15pm, 6:15pm and 7:15pm
Building 600 (2nd Floor Lounge): 6:30pm

Friday (12/3)
Sulzberger Lobby and Building 600 (2nd Floor Lounge): 3:45pm

Saturday (12/4) — Wednesday (12/8)
Sulzberger Lobby: 5:15pm, 6:15pm and 7:15pm
Building 600 (2nd Floor Lounge): 6:30pm

If you need to arrange something for another tradition, please be in touch with so we can assist you.  Thanks for your cooperation and we wish you a very happy holiday season.

Image via Wikimedia

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  • to be fair says:

    @to be fair to be fair, most of the lighting that goes on in the dorms is illegal anyway.

  • Haha suckers, says:

    @Haha suckers, I have an electric menorah with halogen lightbulbs! :|

  • *sigh* says:

    @*sigh* Housing just loves banning things. I’d say this was discriminatory, but I guess they also prohibit you from keeping live Christmas trees and wreaths in your dorms. So they’re not just screwing one religion; they’re screwing them all!

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Meh, I’ve still got my nativity scene.

    2. yeah says:

      @yeah to be fair, Christmas trees = more of a pagan tradition than a particularly religious Christian one. still, banning pagan religious displays would still be well within Columbia’s MO.

    3. wtf says:

      @wtf Housing bans candles and lighters from dorms because they’re fire hazards, not because they’re trying to screw your religious tradition. get over yourself. this isn’t even REMOTELY “discriminatory.”

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