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Drake fire aftermath

One student’s personal account

By Jill Harden
On February 21, 2012

  • Kyle Corbett. Jacqueline Chilsen

After the initial distress and despair following the Drake Hall fire, students are finally beginning to settle down into their new campus homes and finish the rest of the semester in full stride. However, the aftermath of the fire cannot be so easily forgotten.

Students with firsthand experience in the fire have had to acclimate to a new living situation, social life changes, and the potential academic circumstances of having to relocate during a full semester schedule.

One student (pictured) was able to provide a personal account of his life after the fire. Alexander Curry, a former resident of Drake Hall, gives the new circumstances of his life here at UW-L.  Curry now lives on the 3rd floor of the Eagle Gray study. After moving out of Drake Hall, administration took six days to place Curry in his new permanent living situation. Curry and many others were displaced around campus corners and staff members' homes for just under a week during the initial shock of the fire. Alexander claims this uprooting didn't negatively affect his academic success during the week of the fire, but it did make the week go by extraordinarily fast. 

Although social agendas can be compromised when it comes to university emergencies, students moving out of Drake Hall must now adapt to a whole new daily social schedule. Former roommates have had to separate and entire hall floor relationships have been uprooted, unquestionably altering many students outlook on the remainder of the semester. However, one must look to the bright side of this heated situation. Students now have the opportunity to branch out and meet potential new friends, and perhaps get involved in a campus activity they would have otherwise ignored.

Aside from the altered student life, UW-L administration has been working tirelessly to secure students into a new permanent living situation that will accommodate each individual's needs.  When asked how he thought UW-L administration handled the incident, Alexander only had words of encouragement. He added that they dealt with what was given to them and handled the situation as quickly as humanly possible.

So now only the future will reveal any remaining stressors on students and resident life here at UW-L. It is up to the students, those who were directly impacted by the fire and those who were on the sidelines helping their peers in need, to take away a sense of triumph in this time of austerity. Alexander's words of wisdom to the student body are those of a true UW-L patriot: "When faced with adversity, we can rise past it together as a dorm, as a campus, and as a collegiate system."

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