In a tragic accident, Wellesley student Econne Maedger ’22 has burned to a crisp after turning on her dorm room’s overhead light for the first time this school year.
“It was just awful,” Maedger’s neighbor, Polly Sai ’23, said. “I was just minding my business doing a PSET by candlelight — wait, don’t print that part; we can’t use candles in our rooms — when I heard a scream coming from next door. So I rushed over and opened the door, and it was so bright that I couldn’t see anything.”
After fetching a pair of sunglasses from the depths of her desk drawer, Sai came back to find a pile of ashes that smelled of burned hair and regret. She knew then that there was no saving Maedger. Sai alerted Hunger Mall’s house president and her floor’s RA, then returned to her room.
An autopsy determined that the cause of death was severe burns. Not sure how you can autopsy a pile of ashes, but I’m not going to question Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Wait, is it hospitals that do autopsies? Or funeral homes?
Following Maedger’s death, Welen Hang, director of Housing and Res Life or Whatever Her Title Is, put out a statement urging students to be aware not to turn on their overhead lights.
“We know that absolutely no sunlight gets into your rooms,” Hang wrote in an email sent to all students. “But desperate times do NOT call for desperate measures. Keep those lights off.”
To prevent future incidents like this from occurring, students are advised to provide their own light sources. Examples include battery-operated fairy lights, fairy lights that you plug in, Christmas tree string lights, Christmas string lights that go on your house, those LED strip lights that TikTokers have, desk lamps, reading lamps, floor lamps, fake candles, seasonal depression lamps, iPhone flashlights and mini fridges but just leave the door open.
When asked by The Snooze why we even have overhead lights at all if we shouldn’t use them, Hang sighed and shrugged.
“I don’t get paid enough for this,” she said.