By Kyle Peveto, Page Editor
Ropes blockade the back end of the Chapel floor in Moody Coliseum, and signs posted on orchestra stands ask attendees to find a seat because fire codes prevent them from blocking entrances.
Chapel changes like these are implemented in the ongoing effort to thwart the students, staff and faculty who would rather stand or sit on the floor at the west end of the coliseum, said Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life.
“We have several concerns with the crowds in the back of Moody,” Barnard said. “Both the PowerPoint and sound technicians have a difficult time doing their job with people standing in front of them.”
Barnard also cited problems with fire codes and safety as reasons why Chapel officials now rope off the rear portion of the floor.
“The tendency for these numbers to grow over time complicates all of these matters even more,” Barnard said. “Who will decide who gets to stand in the back and who doesn’t?” he asked.
Barnard said he spoke to those who stood in the back and that he was given many credible reasons why they choose that place.
Some do not want to disturb the service when arriving late and attempting to find a seat, while some must leave early and also do not want to cause a disturbance. Others, Barnard said, admit they want to be the first to the card reader or go to lunch faster.
“The best solution was to use the current system to barricade this entire area,” Barnard said, “and no longer allow anyone to use this space, except for those who are running sound, PowerPoint or otherwise have responsibilities to work with Chapel procedures.”
Chapel attendees need to sit in seats during Chapel and not block exits or stairs at any time, according to fire codes.
A new problem developing, Barnard said, is students signing in every day in the section for those who forgot or misplaced IDs to attain a seat close to the exits.
“If students choose to abuse this gesture,” Barnard said, “we will either discontinue the alternative, or we will put the assigned seating section at the top of Section A, making it less attractive for those students who simply think they must be first in line at the Bean.”