Tornado precautions gone wrong

Casey Hunter
Student Reporter–

After tornado sirens and heavy rain, a frantic group of journalists were more than ready to give up after an evening of editing and weather stress on May 6.

The newspaper staff got more than they bargained for after we were told to relocate from the Learning Resources center to Student Center by RSC security.

Campus wide emails were sent advising people on campus to stay alert if the weather continued to deteriorate. Around 7:30 p.m. all classes were cancelled. Although the campus was closed, people remaining on campus could stay if they felt it was too dangerous to leave. However, if the doors around campus are locked and staff is nowhere to be found, where does a student go?

“No one was available to unlock the safe rooms. The scariest part was thinking about other people on campus who didn’t know where safe places were and knowing that if they went outside, they would be locked out of all buildings,” Editor-in-Chief Jessica Phillips said.

Photo by Lovena Castleman

Photo by Lovena Castleman

Tornado sirens were going off and rain was pouring while we scurried to the “safe room” that, if anything, felt far less safe than where we originally were.

“It would’ve been nice if the announcement system would have gone off about 30 minutes earlier, but even when they did go off, no one came into the shelter with us,” Marisa Caban, chief photographer, said.

What is more exasperating, we had an overwhelming sense of uncertainty of what was going on around us and where we needed to be.

“Get it together, Rose State,” said Taylor Phillips, volunteer reporter.

To the four journalists that were determined to finish the paper on time, this is a week we will never forget. Being a journalist has given me hands-on experience along with some unforgettable memories of panic and laughter.

Student Publications Adviser Susan Dawson-O’Brien stayed with us until the very end. She ensured us that everything would be okay and to not give up just yet.

Dawson was not the only adviser concerned for student safety. Dr. Tommy Klepper, director of Student Conduct kept in contact with the newspaper staff to make sure we were safe and sheltered.

According to, “more than a dozen tornadoes dropped from the sky,” and record rainfall of “more than seven inches” was reported.

Several homes were destroyed in Amber, Bridgecreek and Newcastle, according to Severe weather is expected to continue through May 9. Be aware of impending danger and know where to go to seek shelter.

For a list of tornado safe places on campus contact Mike Templeman at 733-6213 or

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