By Joseph Garcia —
Across all three campuses, University of Louisville staff phones displayed a warning message that alerted staff and faculty to evacuate buildings immediately. The message came late afternoon Feb. 7.
A RAVE alert was sent out to students and staff at 4:36 p.m. informing them of the false alarm.
“U of L phone systems experienced a malfunction,” the RAVE alert read, “Please disregard any notice about immediate evacuation.”
John Karman, director of media relations for U of L, said normally the type of message U of L phones displayed only appears during emergency situations.
“We don’t know what caused the phones to malfunction,” Karman said.
Even though the message was just a malfunction, campus employees and students reacted as if the unknown threat was real.
In the Student Activities Center, the Campus Bookstore’s managers evacuated its customers and employees. One employee, Emma Betancourt, a senior exercise science major, told the Cardinal how she was worried about the situation.
“I was concerned about what we needed to do in order to get out of the building in a timely manner,” Betancourt said.
Betancourt was hopefully that others got out of the SAC in time in the event the strange message was a real warning. “I didn’t want to go back into the building since nobody seemed to know what was going on.”
Meanwhile on the other end of the Belknap campus, the Student Recreation Center’s staff members took a similar response.
Brooke Dotson, a freshman dental hygiene major, was working at the front desk of the SRC when she was told to evacuate the building.
“I was alert and alarmed,” Dotson said.
“My first thought was of what to do right away because you never know what those messages are about or what is going on,” Dotson said, “I immediately just knew to get everyone out of the building so they could find safety.”
Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal