The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

CO2 “false alarms” in Kirkhof Center disrupt club meetings

GVL / Ella McClintock

Sam George, a member of the Chess Club at Grand Valley State University, was enjoying a normal Sunday meeting until he and the other members of the club were told they had to evacuate the building due to hazardous levels of carbon monoxide. As it turned out it was just another “false alarm.” 

Many sources say this is a common occurrence in Kirkhof Center. The cause of what started the alarm and evacuation seems to have many factors at play. At the time it unsure if false instances like this could occur in the future.

GVPD Officer Julian Luebke explained this is an ongoing issue with technology. He said he isn’t sure if the University has or has not addressed the technology issues, and said jokingly, “I’m not paid those big bucks.”

“I think it was just a faulty alarm, that’s the first time I’ve had that happen on my shift (but it has occurred before,” Luebke said. “I’m not paid those big bucks. We (GVPD) just respond, we don’t usually get the follow-up.”

Casey Moomey, a member of the campus custodial staff, said some of his coworkers have dealt with this problem for years now. When they were told to exit the premises, he didn’t think anything of it, and figured he’d be back inside before long.

“Must’ve been no longer than a half hour or so out of the building,” Moomey said.  

Some occupants, though, were unsure of the severity of the alarm at first. When he was told to leave, George asked around for more information but didn’t receive any. He was also concerned about the valuables in the room.

“That’s all the staff knew, or all they’d tell me,” George said.  “Against my better judgment I left the chess equipment on the table, I was worried it would get lost or moved or stolen if this were to become a long process.” 

While waiting for more information, George chose to get some homework done in a nearby building. On his way, he informed the Table Tennis Club, which meets right after the Chess Club, of the situation in case the building wasn’t open when they would usually arrive. 

Other visitors simply stood outside and watched the scene unfold. The GVSU Department of Public Safety responded to the call, but quickly realized this was something they had dealt with before.

George returned less than an hour later, and everything appeared ordinary.

“When I got there, they were letting people back in, nothing seemed to happen at all. I assumed it was some false alarm. They wouldn’t say what happened,” George said.

Officer Luebke said often emergency responders “just respond” and “don’t normally get a follow up.” 

Even though it was a bit of an inconvenience, George said he was thankful for the safety precautions.

“I’d rather have a false positive situation than a false negative. Stuff happens, it was remedied quickly,” George said.

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