Students, Staff React to Succession of Sirens

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After a protest group set off fire alarms in 10 campus buildings yesterday, UC Berkeley students and faculty members reacted with disgust at the inconvenience of having to miss class and stand in the cold for half an hour.

"I think it's a waste of time," said freshman Alan Daniels, who missed the first several minutes of his Psychology 1 lecture in Wheeler Auditorium. "They're not achieving anything."

Most students said they were not aware of why the fire alarms were pulled. Members of the group responsible for the incident distributed fliers on Upper Sproul Plaza, but affected students mainly clustered outside the buildings where they had class until the alarm ceased.

One professor said he was only mildly annoyed by the alarms.

"It was a two-hour class, so we only missed the last half hour," said Laurence Michalak, who teaches a middle eastern studies class in Wheeler Hall. "It sounds like a rather silly way to protest. One can be against Propositions 21 and 22, but that doesn't seem like an appropriate way to protest."

David Dah-Wei Hsu was teaching a class in Barrows Hall when the alarm went off.

"Since the alarm wasn't very loud, I wasn't sure it was the fire alarm," Hsu said. "When we saw some students outside the building, we decided to evacuate. The main effect of the alarm was I couldn't finish all the material I had planned to cover."

Hsu said his students kept a humorous attitude.

"Someone in my class did say, 'That's what we get for having class in Barrows,'" he said.

Standing on the steps of Wheeler Hall, students had mixed reactions to the alarm.

"I think they could find different ways to make their point," said Paul Wang, a senior integrative biology major."

Another student wrapped her coat around a cold friend and said she could see the protesters' point of view.

"I like the statement," Parissa Vassef said. "But what's the point? (The propositions) already passed."


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