Fire alarms overwhelm Alumni Hall residents all though the night

By Ben Diamond

Social Media Coordinator

Photo Courtesy of Springfield College

Take a moment to remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep. You woke up refreshed  and ready to take on the day. The feeling of being full of energy is like no other.

Now, imagine your sleep is interrupted by the most terrifying and aggravating sound possible. A constant high-pitched blaring, paired with flashing lights, going off in your residence hall.

Dazed and confused, you groggily check your iPhone to find out it is 1:30 a.m. You curse under your breath, roll out of bed, throw on the nearest shirt, grab your shower flip flops, and trudge into the hallway.

Outside your door are countless others, all expressing their irritation in different forms. Some may barely open their eyes, hoping they can sleepwalk through the ordeal, while others may yell at anyone who will listen about how ridiculous this all is.

Like zombies, the sea of slumbering bodies makes its way out of the emergency exit doors, sounding off yet another set of alarms, somehow making the situation even more annoying than it already was.

You wait outside the building until a resident director or a campus police officer says it is okay to re-enter. During this time, other slackers drag themselves out of the building, making everyone jealous of their extra three minutes in bed.

Finally, the sleepwalking mass of people make their way back to the comfort of their own rooms, to hopefully fall right back into their slumber.

Then, in what feels like only a few seconds, that unsettling sound, accompanied by the worst type of strobe lights to be found on campus, appears again. This time, you curse much louder, and you grab your phone furiously to find out it is 3:45 a.m.

The mass exodus of the dormitory is the same, except with a more palpable tension in the air.

This is the story of late Monday night, early Tuesday morning in Alumni Hall, Springfield College’s oldest residence hall.

While no explanation for what caused either of the fire drills on September 13 has been shared with the residents of Alumni, resident director Peter Kapitancek and area coordinator Chris Nisler did host a mandatory meeting for the building Wednesday night.

Kapitancek, wearing no shoes but still giving off a professional vibe, addressed the packed Carlisle Foyer with very little trepidation.

“This is our home, this is our community, and myself and the RA staff do our very best to make sure this is a safe and fun place to live.”

Kapitancek continued to remind everyone that while his staff is doing everything they can to make sure false alarms are being prevented, that task is impossible without help from the residents.

“I’m asking for your help. Hold your friends accountable and remember that what we do in this hall affects all of us,” said Kapitancek.

Although Nisler echoed the resident director’s sentiments, calling the recent fire drills ridiculous, his role in the makeshift town hall meeting was much different than Kapitancek. He was there to lay down the law of the land.

“Moving forward, we will be instituting fines for the floor in which the alarm is pulled on,” said Nisler as the crowd began to murmur.

Questions followed about how much the fine would cost, and while neither Nisler nor Kapitancek could provide an exact figure, the message was clear: tamper with the fire alarms, and your whole floor will suffer.

In the resident director’s closing comments, he hammered home the point of the severity of false alarms and tried to end on a light note, commenting on how it has been a great year for Alumni Hall already.

While the praise seemed premature, the hope for the all-male dorm is that there will be no more miserable nights, filled with anger and frustration directed at nobody in particular.

Residents can hope that for the rest of the school year, the only alarm waking them up is their phone alarm, not the nightmare-inducing sound they have gotten to know far too well.

Leave a Reply