Natural disasters are happening all over the world, but this past weekend, Fort Hays State University had their own kind of disaster take place in one of the dorms, McMindes Hall. On Friday morning, September 8th, students were evacuated due to a electrical fire and flooding in the basement. Students were told they could hopefully move back into the building the following day, or even the day after, Sunday. Luckily, students were able to get back into the dorms Friday afternoon. Within the four weeks of students being in the building, this isn’t the first time the fire alarm has gone off.
Freshman, Shelby Newton stated that she already had plans of leaving town for the weekend, so the evacuation wasn’t as big as a deal to her as it was for other students. “I thought it was just somebody that pulled the alarm when I first heard it,” Newton said as she laughed. “I was packing to leave for the weekend when all of a sudden the alarm went off. I grabbed my stuff and shot for the door,” Shelby said. This was the third time she was in her dorm room to hear the fire alarm go off. I was curious to see where she would have planned on staying, for she lives 3 hours away from Hays. Shelby responded with, “My cousin Grant, who is a junior here at Hays, has a house. I would’ve stayed with him until I was able to move back in.” Shelby is studying radiology here at Fort Hays.
Freshman, Kaylee Slattery, stated she also wasn’t planning on staying here in Hays this weekend. Kaylee is from Spearville, Kansas and had already planned on going home for the weekend. However, if she hadn’t planned on going home, she had a friend here in Hays, willing to house her until she was able to get back into her dorm room. “I was in Personal Wellness when the alarms went off. I didn’t have my computer or back-pack. I need both for my next class,” she said. Cops were not allowing students back into McMindes unless they needed medicine for a medical emergency. Slattery is also studying radiology here at Fort Hays.
Volleyball player, Jaycie Richardson, who is a freshman here at Fort Hays, doesn’t have the opportunity to go home willingly like other students. Jaycie is a star athlete from small town Ness City, Kansas which is a little ways from Hays. Jaycie hadn’t planned on leaving town this past weekend. “I didn’t really know, I know I needed stuff in my room and couldn’t drive an hour to my home town without them. All the older volleyball girls were also all out of town so we couldn’t go to their house. I just went into the locker and hoped we would get back in at 4:30 when they said,” she responded when asked what she would’ve done, if not able to get back in. Out of the all the places she could’ve been when the alarm went off, she was in the shower. “I ran to my room, threw on some random clothes, thinking I wouldn’t be outside for long.” Richardson is studying nursing here at FHSU and is looking forward to her time as a Tiger.
As some students had already planned to leave Hays for the weekend, others were searching for gas money. Throughout the weekend students were frazzled by the disaster that happened in McMindes Hall. As we prepare to start our fourth week of school, students are adjusting well. We are lucky enough to attend a smaller university that is always willing to help and look out for each other.