Did anyone hear about the rave Cerro Vista Apartments threw last Wednesday, Oct. 18? It started a little earlier than I am used to, but I still loved it. It came complete with strobe lights, loud sounds and cops. Even the fire department showed up! The timing was a little unfortunate however; I was in the middle of studying for midterms. My friends were cooking dinner. However, that did not stop us from joining in on the fun.

The odd thing about this rave was that we were all forced to participate. No, we were not forced to take Ecstacy, but we were forced to come outside and gather in a large crowd.

Housing and Residential Life planned this rave weeks in advance. And this is why I, along with many others, am not happy. I don’t think that they could have picked a more inopportune time to have a fire drill.

First off, this was midterms week. My 25-35 hours of studying were interrupted. They chose 7 p.m., otherwise known as dinnertime. And they forced us out of the apartments to stand and hear some firefighter talk to us about stupid people who lit things on fire. During the 45 minutes outside, I overheard a resident say, “This is going to turn into a real fire drill if they don’t let me back in soon. My dinner’s still going.”

Meanwhile, behind the sound of a firefighter educating us about not setting couches on fire and sleeping with lit candles, the screams of Community Advisor’s were heard in the background. I think that might have been more disturbing than the actual sound of the fire alarm itself.

Please do not misinterpret this as me being anti-safety. I am an Eagle Scout and take safety somewhat seriously (I sometimes wear my bike helmet). Here is a little math for you:

200 apartments X (4 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms + 1 closet) = 1400 rooms to check

12 CA’s + 1 CSD = 13 people checking these 1,400 rooms

Let’s say it takes one minute to check each apartment.

200 / 13 = 15 minutes

I would say this is a very conservative estimate based on the fact that it took 45 minutes for Cerro Vista to be cleared and that not all 12 CA’s are on duty at all times.

A fire can engulf a room in a matter of minutes according to the University of Colorado. Let’s say you are one of the unfortunate ones to have someone come to your apartment at oh, the 10 minute mark. You are toast, no pun intended. Why you haven’t left is beyond me.

We were not allowed to return to the apartments for 45 minutes. Even after they allowed us to return, the party continued as one of the alarms remained on for an additional 15 minutes. How in the hell do you plan on being in your room when you jump every time the siren thing imitates Britney Spears singing?

One would think that Housing and Residential Life would choose a more appropriate time to schedule a drill. How about on the weekend? During the afternoon?

I think it would be great to do the fire drill at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Do you know how many drunk people there would be forced out of their homes?

That would be a real party!

I don’t live in Cerro Vista, I just visit, but if the fire alarm ever goes off late on a Friday or Saturday call me up and I’ll take a taxi (it would be illegal for me to drive and I don’t even have a car) to Cerro. Can you imagine hundreds of drunk people on campus all in one place? That happens very rarely, minus football games.

If the only time the fire alarms went off was when there was actually a fire then I think people would be more inclined to leave their rooms. How about reserving the use of the fire alarm for fires? The next time it goes off I might not want to leave my dinner and decide to stay. Or, how about they make the times of the fire drills public so that residents have ample warning to go out to dinner or go somewhere without screaming sirens and CA’s and firemen who talk to us about how fires further evolution.

Got a problem with something on campus? E-mail me dlhansen@calpoly.edu and I’ll look into it.

David Hansen is an environmental horticulture sciences sophomore and guest contributor to the Mustang Daily.

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