Crack of dawn fire alarms

By Ryan Cox
October 9, 2003

Cecelia Francisco

I find it extremely exhausting that living in New Residence Hall means standing outside waiting for the fire alarm to shut off. Here is how a typical night goes: I finally come back to the room after a long day of school and work, change into my comfortable pajamas, and then finally, I lie down and relax. Somewhere along the lines, right before dozing off, a sound more intense than a plane traveling at 700 miles an hour and smashing into another plane traveling at equal speed wakes up everyone in the building.

As you groggily make your way out of your room and walk to the end of the hall, the alarm gets louder and louder until you are directly underneath the resonator; at which point it feels like your ear drums are bleeding. The wait outside is the most ridiculous part of it all. Every time I go outside, I am bombarded with people laughing, yelling, and overall speaking their minds; which sounds pretty lame at 5 a.m. I would, however, like to know a few things; who is pulling the alarm? And, why is it funny to stand outside at 5 a.m only to freeze in pajamas? Whatever the case, whoever feels that this is a funny joke is in for a shocker if caught.

Not only will the perpetrator receive a hefty fine for disruptive on-campus behavior, but have to deal with hundreds of angry New Residence students. I, for one don’t know what is worse. As if standing outside once a night is not enough, there was a night a few weeks ago that the alarm was pulled three times. Residents chose to remain in their rooms when the alarm went off. I can’t say I blame them. Whoever is pulling the alarm needs to be aware that he or she is putting people’s safety at a serious risk. If students are sick of going outside when the alarm goes off because of some immature prankster, they could get seriously hurt, or even die if there is a real fire. All of this could be tied to the principle of the story of “the boy who cried wolf.”

Maybe there should be a stronger emphasis on surveillance. If cameras were strategically placed at all areas containing fire alarms, Public Safety could catch the person or persons involved in the pranks. I feel this is a more effective measure than having RAs shout at all residents outside with comments such as “This is all up to you guys,” or the famous “If you guys were mature, you wouldn’t be standing out here.” These comments are, for a lack of a better term, dumb. Instead of focusing on finding the culprit, they would rather scold everyone in the building and hope the guilty is there among the crowd of over a hundred.

This topic needs to be dealt with, or serious injury could result. Public Safety should receive some sort of credit as well, due to the fact that they are called one, two, and sometimes three times to New Residence to shut off the alarm.

Posted to the web by: Cecelia Francisco

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Ryan Cox

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