Fight or flight kicked in the early morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 20, for the students living in Dole Hall as a fire was discovered in the second-floor bathroom. According to the Office of the President at Olivet College, “There were no injuries, and all students and staff are safe.”
However, the aftermath of the fire left Olivet students living in Dole in a tough situation. “I definitely think that it could have been handled better, there wasn’t a lot of communication when it happened,” said Lily Connelly, Junior.
The students were evacuated from the building and while some students got access to their rooms by Thursday, Oct. 20 in the afternoon, others were unable to get access to their rooms and belongings until Monday, Oct. 24. Students belonging were also taken out of their rooms to be cleaned. This left students’ scrambling. “I had to be here for (basketball) practice, so I had to drive back and forth (from my grandparents' house). But overall, I think that everybody is starting to get back to normal and adjusting now that we have all of our stuff back. But it’s been a rough week,” said Connelly.
“I lost a necklace from my grandma, I lost a lot of my clothes, I lost a jacket from my grandpa,” said Victoria ‘Vicky’ McGowan, Freshman. Vicky was one of many students impacted by the fire, the hardest part for Vicky was losing her belongings that had deep meaning. “I brought my whole life with me (to Olivet) and left with half of it,” said McGowan.
The response from Olivet students who were not affected, but saw the impact of the fire, has resulted in an outreach to help students who did lose belongings in the fire. The Greek Houses have come together to put on a drive to collect items for the students impacted.
“After hearing people losing birth certificates, medication, food and all that kind of stuff. It made me feel like I wanted to help and made me and my (fraternity) brothers want to help,” said Parker Brown, Senior and President of Kappa Sigma Alpha. There isn’t a set date determined for the drive but according to Brown it will most likely be held sometime within the next week.