Friday, November 20, 2009

John Yoo Saves Half the Library from the "Fire"

I was sitting in the library Atrium when the fire alarm went off and of course I dutifully shuffled into the exit stairwell with about 30 other students. We descended a flight to the marked exit only to find said exit locked.

So, we turned around and marched back up, bumping into other students who were coming down. Right as I was about to re-enter the library proper, John Yoo burst through the door saying, "No, come with me this way. I have the key."

And just like that John Yoo saved us all from our hypothetical fiery death. It was awesome.

Anyway, more thoughts on the alarms.

Check out this scenario:
  1. You know campus police are all busy over at the protests.
  2. You know there're millions of laptops and other valuable shit at the law school.
  3. You set off the fire alarm, run in while everyone's outside, and steal shit.
  4. The man who came up with this theory sees someone younger looking and not dressed like a law student poke his head into an IP class that has just resumed. Perhaps looking for valuables?

Also, I'm gonna try and get some live blog action down at Wheeler later assuming the rain doesn't dissuade me.

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Blogger Boomtime said...

I think that's a very astute theory. Also, I think anyone who pulls a fire alarm when there is no fire should be fined heavily and imprisoned. It is a sociopathic thing to do.

11/20/2009 12:19 PM  
Blogger Carbolic said...

HOW DARE YOU make JY palatable.

Don't you realize the he is a war criminal? And that he should be fired?

By making him seem like a pleasant, relatable fellow, you are facilitating torture. Or at least blurring the manichean "forces of good/forces of evil" division that we have been delineating for years.

Ms. Dupin would not be pleased!

11/20/2009 12:29 PM  
Blogger Boomtime said...

Well, we can rest assured that had there been a real fire, JY would have escaped alone through his secret door and laughed as a James & Co met their fiery end.

11/20/2009 12:30 PM  
Anonymous '93 Alum said...

Isn't it illegal to have a fire exit locked from the inside? I'm sure it is.

11/20/2009 12:57 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/20/2009 1:31 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

DE: We live for the thrill of the rumpus, but not too wild.

Can we talk about how this is the craziest day EVER?

11/20/2009 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Peter H said...

Dean VDH is trying to get to the bottom of this w/ maintenance. If any of y'all were there please email her the details so the concern can be addressed. kvandenheuvel(at)law(dot)berkeley(dot)edu. Or feel free to shoot me an email and I'll make sure it gets passed along.

Being proactive is so hot right now.

11/20/2009 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate the students protesting outside of libraries who won't let me go in to study. That'll show "them" by not letting students study!! Megaphone > logic + reason + sensible alternatives to UC Budget cuts.

11/20/2009 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does a law student dress like? I hope I fit in.

11/20/2009 4:11 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Well that's interesting:

Hi folks,

I have heard that some of you encountered a locked door in the law library during the fire alarm and were concerned that this prevented you from leaving the building. I understand further that a faculty member who was leaving the building unlocked this door so students could exit. While in this case there was no harm, in fact the door in question, which leads from 1M (lab level) into the garage, is not a fire exit and should never be used during a fire alarm. If there really were a fire in the garage (not an unlikely place for a fire to start) opening this door could draw the fire into the law school and create extremely dangerous conditions for anyone standing near this door. The door is locked precisely so that it is not used in a fire alarm.

For future reference, if you are in the law library stacks, computer lab, or in the North Addition Reading Room during a fire alarm, you should proceed into the staircase, continue all the way to the bottom level, and exit through the door marked "Emergency Exit Alarm Will Sound." Once in the staircase do not leave to enter any other floors. The staircase tower itself is a 4-hour fire safety zone, so if there are people who cannot navigate the steps down to the first floor please assist them into the staircase tower. Fire personnel will be checking the staircase towers to evacuate anyone who is waiting in this safety zone.

All our fire exits are marked according to state and campus requirements, but we are looking into providing further signage to avoid any confusion in the future. In the meantime, please check with me if you have any questions about how to exit the building safely. The campus fire marshal inspects the law building frequently to insure that we are in full compliance with fire safety regulations, but if there is any confusion about how to leave the building then we need to clear that up.

Have a good weekend.

11/20/2009 4:36 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Well, I have no idea about the details of CA state and Berkeley city requirements are, nor do I know whether there was signage was an issue in The Great Yoo Rescue of '09 described above. If, however, regulations require neon green exit signs near doors that lock when alarms go off, then someday, somewhere, those requirements are going to kill somebody.

Fire exit signs are designed to stay illuminated during power outages, are colored to be most visible in hazy conditions, and are positioned near the ceiling to be visible as a room slowly fills with smoke. But most importantly, they're intended to safely guide panicked people out of a building. That plan gets foiled when they point to locked doors.

11/20/2009 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so somehow everyone was supposed to know that in event of a fire we are expected to go into a large enclosed concrete stairwell and wait, with a hundred of our closest law school library friends, rather than flee through the nearest door to the outside?

yeah cause that really jives with my instinct for survival.

11/20/2009 4:47 PM  
Blogger James said...

When I got up to leave the library, the doors back out to the reading room from the atrium were closed. Someone official sounding was saying, "go down the stairs." When I entered the stairs I was no longer aware of any exit signage. Someone said, you can get out on 1M. When we failed at this we were sort of confused as a group. This, of course, is when John Yoo appeared.

11/20/2009 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:47, that was my thought. If somebody told me during a fire to go hang out in the staircase and wait it out, I would have thought they had already inhaled some smoke.

11/20/2009 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once you're in that stairwell, it doesn't really make sense to get out on a random floor (like 1M) unless you're browsing (rather than trying to exit) - common sense dictates that you follow the stairwell to the end. I don't understand how so many people managed to run into this locked door (which requires them leaving the stairwell and re-entering the building) rather than continuing down the stairs, unless everyone was trying to exit from level 1M itself...? Color me confused.

11/20/2009 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys actually all "died" before Yoo saved you from the "fire"

11/20/2009 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We descended a flight to the marked exit only to find said exit locked."

I just checked, and the door in question is not marked as an exit.

11/20/2009 6:00 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

I really don't understand how this thread has not had a Fire Marshall Bill reference yet.

11/20/2009 6:09 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

"Well. I guess we can close the file on that one."

11/20/2009 6:11 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yeah, there should at least be a sign that says "Don't use in case of fire" or something. Patrick, can we put you in charge of this?

11/20/2009 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the BHSA condemned the strikers who pulled the fire alarm?

If the BHSA supports the strike, then they must be supporting the illegal actions. That is, unless they openly denounce them.

Can we get a vote of no confidence on the BHSA leadership?

11/20/2009 7:54 PM  
Blogger James said...

Hahaha, I mean, I wasn't in the front of the situation. All I know is people started turning around.

Either way, if it's not clear it seems like it should be made clearer.

Who knows who actually pulled the alarm. We don't know it was a striker.

11/20/2009 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GAWD, i wish there was a camera in the stairwell to tape john yoo as he was saving the helpless kids in despair.

he must've looked so heroic and dreamy.

11/20/2009 8:42 PM  

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