Fire allows SLU to embody Jesuit mission

Men and women for others – Saint Louis University’s Jesuit mission was put to the test this Sunday, April 10, when more than 900 students were evacuated from SLU’s largest residence hall, the Griesedieck Complex, due to an electrical fire in the building.

Action and reaction was immediate. On a Sunday evening, usually dedicated to family and friends, SLU administrators rushed to campus, teaming up with the Department of Housing and Residence Life and demonstrating their devotion to their students and their community.

Res Life, in an act of solidarity and commitment to their fellow students, worked hard to evacuate everyone as swiftly and efficiently as possible while administration set up alternative housing through the Water Tower Inn, the Manresa Center and Drury Inn. However, as proof of true community camaraderie, only seven students were in need of this temporary housing, as students found refuge among their fellow students and family.
In the same way that campus confusion closed one set of doors, compassion and sympathy opened another all throughout our community.

Although these students are fortunate enough that SLU’s Jesuit mission shone through in the midst of uncertainty, word of mouth ran unchecked further adding to confusion. The campus has not received any communication from the University about the cause of this incident. The SLU community has yet to understand what exactly caused this problem, a problem that displaced 900 students. We must be informed of future precautions and aware that the administration and Res Life alike have learned from this experience, and how to prepare for future emergencies.

Though we know accidents happen, as the community that we proved to be this Sunday, we expect answers. While information about the cause of the problem is still missing, the way such a large emergency was immediately handled is commendable to all those involved.

Students took in students, friends took in friends, even friends of friends if was necessary. We became men and women for others, committed to service, empowering our community through our mission.