DORMS IN NEED OF NEW FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
ST.THOMAS- High-pitched sounds from a fire alarm abruptly woke on-campus residents of the North, Middle and Middle Annex dormitories on several occasions the mornings of Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.
The old fire alarm system was prompted by the heavy rain that triggered the alarms due to dust.
Resident assistants, or RAs, went to every dorm to alert their residents, but many students did not follow procedures and never exited the dormitories.
“The old fire systems are a hazard to the on campus students,” Amanda Bannis, a senior biology major, said. “The alarm goes off so frequently that most residents assume it’s not a drill or a real fire and stay in their rooms. It’s like the little boy who cried wolf.”
Many on-campus residents were upset when RAs scrutinized residents for not taking precautions and evacuating the dormitories.
“It is in the resident contract to evacuate anytime the alarm goes off,” one resident assistant said. “The Student Housing Department just needs to replace the fire alarm systems in North and Middle with brand new alarms.”
“Even as a resident assistant I don’t know if Student Housing is budgeting funds to replace the old ones,” the RA said.
Some students also work during the weekends. There were many residents who were concerned about the frequent alarms because it interrupted their rest.
“It was an inconvenience to be woken up three times in one hour,” Sharifah Matthew, a resident of middle dormitories said. “I work very early on the weekend and have a full schedule of classes during the week. It’s irritating when my sleep is interrupted for no reason.”
Student Housing representative and RA, Lesa Royer confirmed that Student Housing has taken action and will be having someone assess the issue with the fire alarm system during the Christmas break.