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Fire alarms pulled in Gerard Hall, no suspect found

By Matthew Wojtechko

Public safety’s crime log includes two counts of “false alarms to public safety agencies” in Gerard Hall, an apparent reference to false fire alarm pulling.

The times of these incidents were Saturday, March 30 at 2:26 a.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 10:15 p.m and are considered disorderly conduct, according to the log.

No guilty party has come forward or been found, so no one has been held responsible, Jenna Churilla, director of Residence Life and Student Conduct, said.

Churilla said the punishment for a violation like this can be severe since it is a crime that could be a felony in a court of law.

Title 18 of the Consolidated Statutes of Pennsylvania indicates that such an action is a misdemeanor unless it “occurs during a declared state of emergency and the false alarm causes the resources of the organization to be diverted from dealing with the declared state of emergency, in which case the offense is a felony of the third degree..”

The Saint Vincent Student Handbook reads that “setting a false fire alarm, or tampering with fire protection equipment, notification systems or detection devices is prohibited. Possible sanctions may include fines and suspension from the Residence Halls or College.”

Churilla said that, when a fire alarm goes off, Public Safety determines whether it’s a false alarm, and if it is, it begins an investigation.

“Once they’ve investigated, if they have a suspect or students in mind that did it, […] they’ll give their investigation to Student Affairs if there is something to proceed with [concerning] students’ conduct,” she said.

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