NCCU Campus Echo Online - Opinions

April 22, 2009
Vol. 100, Issue 11

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Alarming days and nights

B. Rooks
Britney Rooks

Imagine youíre lying in bed. Itís two oíclock in the morning and youíre having the best nightís sleep you could imagine. Your room is quiet, dark, peaceful.

Suddenly, thereís a faint shrieking in the distance. Itís growing louder ... now itís right in your ears. A piercing alarm is going off.

The building is being evacuated. You are forced to wake up, throw on your hoodie and run outside in the middle of the night.

The fire alarm has been set off repeatedly in the Eagle Landing Residence Hall this semester, and itís very disturbing.

There have been fire drills at all hours of the night and sometimes during daylight hours as well.

Iíve been forced to leave my room and stand in the designated waiting area numerous times and in all kinds of weather.

Iíve had to stand in my pajamas in the rain, snow, and wind due to these false alarms.

To make matters worse, it was announced a couple of times that someone had pulled the alarm as a prank.

This isnít funny. Itís childish and annoying.

People have class in the morning.

They donít have time to keep waking up in the middle of the night just to stand outside for 20 to 30 minutes at a time for nothing.

Thereís never a good time for me to get comfortable in my room because I keep expecting the alarm to go off.

Iím scared to take a shower in my own bathroom because I fear Iím going to have run outside covered in soap and a towel in order to get out of the building within the designated four minutes.

I did not sign up for this.

Fire drills and alarms are supposed to teach safety, but at the rate they go off in Eagle Landing, no one would take a real fire seriously if ever there was one.

One or two drills per semester are acceptable ó we have them at least twice a week.

Some students have been fined because their floorsí alarms have been pulled.

A thousand-dollar fine is split among the residents of the floor on which the alarm was pulled and charged to their accounts.

A police officer threatened to fine me for nearly entering the building after I was mistakenly told it was okay to go in.

But why should I be fined for wanting to go back to my own room?

Iím the one being interrupted.

When thereís no real fire, students canít be expected to keep jumping up for these phony alarms that occur at any random hour.

If anything, I should be receiving compensation or a partial refund for being disrupted repeatedly in a residence that I am shelling out $5,200.16 to stay in.

If we have cameras in the building, why arenít they being utilized to catch the people responsible for pulling the alarm?

Maybe we need more surveillance, or someone to dust for fingerprints.

And if the other half of the problem is alarms going off due to triggers as small as a bag of popcorn burning in the microwave, then maybe the alarms are too sensitive.

Either way, this disturbance cannot continue.

The unnecessary fire alarms have got to stop!

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