By Cassie | September 30, 2012
A little over a week ago, somewhere around 2,000 students were evacuated from dorms on south campus. I was one of those students. And I have to say, I’m so glad that it happened!You may be wondering why I would ever be glad to get evacuated. But just think about it…can YOU say that you along with 2,000 other students at your college were kicked out of your dorm with nowhere to go? I think not.
Truthfully though, it definitely made for an interesting night.
I was roaming the halls of my beloved Baker Hall West, attempting to avoid last-minute homework on a Sunday night, when the lights flickered. Out the window, we could hear the fire alarms going off in Park-Stradley, and within moments students were filing out of the new building. In case you didn’t know, Baker is one of the oldest dorms on campus, without air conditioning, without a kitchen, but with a community that can’t be beat. Park-Stradley is brand spankin’ new, with several stainless steel kitchens, fully-functioning air conditioning, and 11 floors of mostly freshmen. Naturally, several of us were laughing at their misfortune, and others yelled out the windows at the exiting students. But within minutes, our own fire alarms began to sound, and we were forced to evacuate Baker as well.
We stood on the street, walking further and further away from our residence halls, until we were finally told we had 20 minutes to run in, grab “essentials”, and evacuate the building for the night. With the fire alarms clanging in our ears, we all hurried to grab clothes, pillows, and blankets before being directed to the RPAC, where we were told we would be staying the night. Drama ensued, and many of us contacted friends to spend the night with.
Me being me, I was quite opposed to spending the night elsewhere. Why not stay? This was sure to be a night to remember! But after the prodding of some friends who did not exactly share my “huge happy sleepover memories” outlook, we decided to travel to north campus and stay with one of my lovely friends, Hannah, who is an RA in Barrett.
It was definitely a night to remember as my roommate, my boyfriend and I lugged all of our overnight belongings (of course brought way too much) to her dorm, where some of her awesome residents set up their futons and mattresses so that we could invade her room until we got the OK to come back to Baker. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long, as it opened back up the next morning, unlike Park-Stradley, which remained evacuated for three days.
But what was really awesome about the whole experience was the way the University handled the situation. I can only say, “Only at Ohio State”. We received refunds for the nights we had to spend out of the dorm, as well as several emails of updates and reassurance. Later that week, the University even threw us a party! We got free t-shirts – mine says, “Keep Calm and Baker On” – for the residents as well as those who helped house the “refugees” during the evac.
And of course, Gordon Gee came to speak to us all, saying, “Let me tell you what I did. I flooded the damn buildings so that we could have a party!” Gotta love our President :) We got an ice cream sundae bar, pictured here:
Not to mention, they opened up a whole “store” for us! There were tons and tons of mac-n-cheeses, trail mixes, Rice Krispie treats, apples, cereals, milks, yogurts, cookies, chips, and more that we were able to take to replace anything we might have lost during the power outage/evacuation. It was awesome. As was the party afterwards, with finish-the-lyrics-to-that-Disney-song, tweets from residents about Park-Stradley/Baker scrolling on display on big screens, dancing with Brutus, prizes, and a giant inflatable Titanic.
So…tell me about the college you go to again?? Mmmmkay… ;)