At approximately 11 a.m. Monday, power went out all over the SF State campus, followed by the incessant ringing of fire alarms.
“There was a fire alarm ringing in the hallway but we couldn’t hear it that well, it was like an alarm clock,” said Spanish major Jimmy Hassler, whose class in the third floor of the Humanities building was interrupted.
According to sources in the Creative Arts building, the lights all shut off, then the emergency lights turned on, then off, on, and then off again. A class in the Brown Bag Theatre found itself in total darkness as it was practicing monologues. In lapse of anyone forcing them to leave, they continued to practice.
“We had no drill, we just practiced,” said Danny Ford, a theatre arts major. “Being trapped in the Brown Bag Theatre when all the power is gone is like being trapped in the most lonely pit that you can imagine.”
Students were ill informed, but when met with the blaring fire alarms, they marched down the stairs of their buildings and out onto the sidewalk under the drizzling sky. Other than a simple text from the school’s response system telling students a base summary, they were left damp and confused.
When making their way out the Humanities building, doors were closed, which kept Hassler and fellow Spanish major Robert Jackson stuck inside of the Humanities building for a about 30 seconds, until the doors were opened and they were able to make it out.
“This doesn’t seem like it would be all that effective were this an actual emergency,” Hassler said.
Various classes responded differently to the outage, with some, such as Chris Sterba’s class held in Humanities 375, kept on schedule through the dark while others, such as Suzanne Hilty’s English 414, saw the power outage as a sign that class was canceled.