Alarms sound, rallying students

Ariel Messman-Rucker

Students, faculty and staff poured out of their classrooms and offices Thursday at about 1 p.m. as loud alarm bells began ringing across campus.

The fire alarms were set off at the Humanities, Business and Foreign Languages, Liberal Arts,  Faculty Offices and other buildings, with some areas experiencing alarms sounding more than once.

The Humanities building was evacuated three separate times between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Lt. Tom Sharp of campus Police Services said it was not a planned drill.

“It was a false alarm,” Sharp said. “Someone did pull a box. There may have been multiple boxes pulled.”

Students for a Democratic Society, a campus club that was holding a rally to protest tuition increases at the time, used the disruption to its advantage, marching through the crowds of students and directing them over megaphones to join the rally.

Once the alarms sounded participants in the rally grew from about 50 people to nearly 200.

But the club did not take credit for the action.

“We did not do that,” SDS member Frank Runninghorse said.

Sharp said he has yet to discover who set off the alarms.

“It’s not a priority case that we would pursue,” he said. “We have no witnesses [and] no leads at this time.”

 

Contact Ariel Messman-Rucker at [email protected]