Students at Somerville are being punished for an unsatisfactory response to an early morning fire drill by having to repeat the drill until every single student completes it properly.
In a recent email, the decanal office at Somerville criticised the response of members of the JCR. The Dean pointed out that some students had remained in their rooms and ignored the alarm, whilst others left the building far too late or tried to re-enter whilst the alarm was still sounding.
“The alarms are loud enough to be heard anywhere in the building irrespective of whether you wear earplugs, headphones, or if you have buried your head under nine pillows,” she said.
The decanal office plans to repeat the unannounced fire drills for the buildings whose participants failed the previous drill, until every student successfully completes the exercise at the same time.
The students were told that “everyone who takes longer than the prescribed three minutes to leave the building will be considered as officially ‘burned’ just like the ones who remain in their rooms entirely.”
They were encouraged to use peer pressure to make sure that everyone left the building. Those who refused to participate in the drill were warned of the wrath of their neighbours who will be “forced to undergo more early morning drills”.
It was also pointed out that were there to be an actual emergency, students failing to leave the building or notify fire marshals that they had left the building would “lead to the firemen searching for you inside and risking their lives in vain”.
Georgia Bruce, a first year Classicist at Somerville, said: “There has been almost non-stop fire alarm chat for two weeks now.”
A second year PPEist remarked: “I’m really not looking forward to more morning fire drills – I need my sleep. It’s unfair that they’re making everyone suffer for a few people’s inability to get themselves out of bed.”
The Fire Protection Association in fact recommends 2.5 minutes to evacuate.