Equipment will sometimes not perform the way it is intended, which can become an inconvenience. When said malfunctions occur at 2:00 in the morning, though, that’s another hassle within itself.
That is the exact situation three first-year students found themselves in on a recent Sunday morning. Zach Gardner, Patrick Rother and Andrew Zorn, all members of the football team, were stuck in an elevator in Alumnae Hall for over an hour on Oct. 20.
The trio did not think much of taking a ride on the elevator on that day but found themselves in a precarious situation rather quickly.
“We just did our normal thing where we clicked the third floor button and scanned our card and it took us up. The elevator took us all the way up to the third floor but when we got there, the door didn’t open,” said Rother, a business administration major.
When the doors were unable to open, panic started setting in, which led the men to call for help.
“We were stuck and it was in the middle of the night. We were stuck in there for a good hour and 15 minutes I want to say, give or take. The door wasn’t opening, so we called Campus Safety and they tried fixing it. They couldn’t fix it electrically, so they had to send two people to open it manually,” said Rother.
As if being stuck in an elevator that late at night wasn’t bad enough for the trio, a pesky sound was present throughout that made the situation even more unbearable.
“The whole time they were trying to send someone, the elevator had an alarm that was going off so there was a constant high-ringing pitch. The whole time, I was just waiting to get out, as it felt like minutes turned to hours,” said Rother.
After a lot of waiting and manpower, the three football players found their way out.
“Eventually, Campus Safety sent two people to come to the third floor with us. They opened it manually partially a couple of inches. Then, all of us inside the elevator and Campus Safety pulled together to be able to pry the door open enough for us to get out,” said Rother.
After being trapped, Rother looked forward to getting some sleep more than anything else when he was freed.
“I’m just glad [it was over] because it was just horrible and I just wanted to go to bed at that point,” he said.
The experience will forever be etched in their brains and Rother now only uses the elevator when he needs to.
“After it got fixed, I took the stairs for a little while but sometimes after practice when my legs are sore so I’ll use it. It was weird he first time getting back in but that was natural. The first time getting back in I was like ‘If these doors shut again, I’ll never take another elevator in my life,’” he said.
While the elevator has been fixed and no problems have been reported since, it is still an experience the three hope to never have to deal with again. Rother hopes this incident will not be repeated for the rest of the residents and visitors of Alumnae Hall.