Fire drills or real fire?

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On Friday, Sep. 6, fire alarms sounded through the network of UW Residences. In the morning around 8.00 a.m., students  evacuated the residences. 

“I was sleeping, so waking up for the drill was quite a hassle, but I had to do it”, said Melodie Kwag, a student resident. 

She wasn’t the only one having difficulties with evacuating the perimeter. 

Four students also said that they simply didn’t leave, preferring instead to continue their morning routines rather than following procedures for the fire drill. 

Many students reported being unaware of the drill beforehand, saying that they were told by friends as they were leaving the building. 

“All I took with me was my phone. I should have probably grabbed important documents because I wasn’t sure whether it was a drill or not,” Tony Song, another student resident said.

Kate Windsor, the Director of Safety on UW Campus said, “Dons are supposed to instruct their students on what to do during a fire drill before the actual drill.”

Windsor emphasized that students who skiped the drill will not be in trouble.

 “Students will not be fined for failing to evacuate residence, however we expect them to respect the annual drill procedures as it is meant to prepare them in case of an actual fire,” she said.

One residence Don incorrectly told Imprint there was a $12,000 fine for skipping a fire drill.

Six UW first year students also mentioned that their drill was made more difficult because they stayed up late partying the night before. 

After the Frosh Ball, an event hosted by the University Socials Club of UW, the group of six first years proceeded to invite friends over to one of their dorms. 

They finished their night with loud music, games, and bed displacements to allow yet more students into the dorm. 

The next morning, they either failed to evacuate the building, or did so with discomfort.