Oh, dear fire alarm…

By Taylor Blasko

Campus has been a pretty damn exciting place as of late. And by exciting I mean annoying. God-awful if you will. Like okay I get it, nobody could stop the resident DelValian squirrel from chewing through the one transformer that all of DelVal is run off of…but like seriously? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. But instead of writing about how the power was out all of Wednesday night and how it royally fucked up my entire night because I did no homework; rather, I will talk about another exciting event that occurred on Wednesday, which is that of the fire alarm.

If anyone lives on campus, knows someone that lives on campus, or specifically lives in South Hall, you know what I’m talking about. South Hall’s dreaded fire alarm…

So I give you Wednesday night, roughly 6:15pm I would say, I’m in my room trying to gather things to go to an event on campus and to get some homework to do beforehand, mind you I’m in the dark because we have no power, and all of sudden…yup…the fire alarm.

At this point I literally have PTSD from this fire alarm. Last semester…hell…for the past year and a half, the South fire alarm has been going off haphazardly. And by haphazardly, I literally mean it didn’t even feel random sometimes, there were points where it would approach 10-11pm and I would pack my bags because I had a bad feeling the fire alarm was going to go off that night, like it did every night at the same time, and, spoiler alert, I was usually right.

This semester hasn’t been so bad…I guess. The fire alarm falsities have been few and far between, but I’m still scarred from previous semesters of fire alarm fleeing. This semester the main thing broken on South besides the fire alarm is the damn door, it doesn’t close. Like it’s broken. So anyone can just waltz right in sometimes. It’s a safe building..I feel really safe.

I digress, so I’m in my room gathering things in the dark because all of DelVal (except the Life Science Building *eye roll*) has no power and the fire alarm goes off. So my heart starts racing as usual, my ears brace themselves for that dreaded spear-stabbing pain that will soon hit my eardrums from the alarm, and I gather and fumble in the dark as fast as I can.

Except not really as fast as I can because dammit another fire drill/fire alarm malfunction and I’m just so sick of them. So yea, I dilly-dally. I fuck around. I take my time. I’m already irritated that there is no power so there’s no way I’m letting the fire alarm take all my dignity. So no, I’m not running out of South like there’s a fire. Because it’s South. And there’s not.

Except OF COURSE this time there is. There’s a fire. I mean okay, there wasn’t a fire exactly, but there was “smoke coming from the electrical room” or something, that’s the rumor on the street anyway. Whatever, what I mean to say is for once it’s not a damn drill or a false alarm, it’s the real thing and I only later find out as I’m sitting at an event in the Life Science Building and see all the fire trucks filing in, headed right for South Hall.

Where are my friends? My one roommate has been sick for days and I didn’t see her get out..she’s not answering her texts…there’s no way she could have slept through that earth shattering alarm…right? I send my other roommate back to check it out, maybe to find flames ablazing, but there are none. But still. My laptop is in there. The whole of my undergraduate career saved on that one hard drive, potentially gone, never to be seen again. All my homework sayonara.

And I mean okay, there apparently weren’t even any flames. The fire department came as a formality. Okay, I get it. I hear you.

And is it my own fault for not taking the fire alarm seriously? I mean okay maybe…but I’ve become so desensitized to it, I’m sure we all have in that building, that how can I possibly know? And I know the logic is you’re supposed to take it seriously every time, but South Hall, here is my proposition to you. Can we at least get emails when scheduled drills are going to occur? Because I know we have to do drills, but can we not do them at the expense of my blood pressure, heart rate, and sanity anymore? Please and thank you.

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