Students at The State University of New York at Purchase in Westchester County are not getting any sleep, and that's not just because of final projects and exams. A faulty fire alarm in one of the residents halls on campus has caused students to evacuate their dorms, searching for places to sleep ahead of their finals. Students and parents are angry at the college's lack of response in the matter, and have sent in videos of their experiences.

Sleepless Night at Purchase College

Beginning around 12 am Monday morning, December 11th, the fire alarm went off in Wayback Hall at Purchase College. The alarm was shortly silenced; however, it came back on around 1:30 am and proceeded to ring until about 10 am. Maintenance crews worked to silence the malfunctioning alarm for almost 9 hours.


In the meantime, students were left unable to sleep due to the alarm going off all night. Students had to improvise by either sleeping in their cars or finding quiet lounges in neighboring college buildings. For those who slept in on-campus lounges, many brought pillows and blankets from their doors and slept on the couches, chairs, and the floors. Students who spent their nights in college lounges described it as like "college student homeless camps."

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Other students were lucky enough to be welcomed by friends to sleep in their apartments or dorms. Resident coordinators and resident assistants did their best to aid in the effort by giving out snacks, staying up with students, and trying to make students comfortable wherever they decided to go. Despite the efforts of the RC's and RA's, there was no formal assistance by the college.


The displacement of students comes at a bad time of the year, as classes are in the middle of their final exams. Throughout the time where the fire alarm was malfunctioning, students received no aid from the college. We've received anonymous reports from students stating how dissatisfied they are by the fact that the college did nothing to help them with lodging during the malfunction.

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Students kept checking their emails throughout the morning, hoping to receive some kind of assistance or instruction from administrators, but nothing was ever sent. As of writing this article, no message has been sent to students from the college president, college facilities team, or any other suitable party.

Parents have tried calling SUNY Purchase in regard to the matter. They were told that all parents phone calls should be directed to email. They were also told that there is no safety protocol for overnight emergencies related to facilities. Further, parents were advised to call University Police; however, they found that University Police could do nothing except let someone else know. Parents and students hope to hear more from the college soon about updates about the dorms, and are urging for better safety and housing protocols.

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