Students react to Monday’s tornado warning

Baylor students affected by severe weather and a tornado warning on Monday. Photo illustration by Brittany Tankersley

By Rachel Chiang | Reporter

Students on campus shared their experience throughout the process of the storm after McLennan County’s tornado watch prompted Baylor to advise students to seek shelter Monday night.

Las Vegas freshman Lindsay Wheeler said she was doing homework in her dorm room in Collins Hall when she got the campus-wide message to seek shelter.

“I had got the email and thought it was probably going be like last semester; it’s not going to be anything too crazy,” Wheeler said. “And then we get the text, ‘Hey, it’s a warning now,’ and I start panicking. I’m not even from Texas. This, of course, really threw me for a loop of like, ‘Oh, this is Texas,’ and not back home in Vegas where you’re more susceptible to earthquakes.”

Wheeler and the rest of Collins Hall residents were instructed to take shelter in the basement study area. She said everyone felt taken aback, and the process of immediately getting downstairs became very crowded as everyone rushed to a safe zone.

“There were times we all panicked a little bit because we could hear the wind outside, and we thought, ‘Oh, it’s getting closer. What do we do?’” Wheeler said. “But I think we all stayed relatively calm because we were in a safe area, but it was still a sense of worry.”

Hattiesburg, Miss., freshman Maddie Yu said she felt calm, wasn’t worried and overall felt unaffected by the entire event.

“I experienced this my entire life, considering I grew up in Mississippi,” Yu said. “I experienced Hurricane Katrina and multiple tornadoes every year, so it was kind of normal. I wasn’t phased.”

Celina freshman Hannah LaFreniere said she shared feelings similar to Yu’s regarding the tornado warning.

“As someone who’s from Texas, this kind of stuff happens all the time,” LaFreniere said. “So I was used to having to take shelter during tornado warnings.”

Like Wheeler, when she was instructed to seek shelter in the basement of her dorm, Kokernot Hall, LaFreniere had a similar experience.

“It was not the best,” LaFreniere said. “It was a little crowded, so it got pretty hot, and the ground was pretty dirty since there were not enough chairs for everyone.”

LaFreniere said when they finally released the students to return to their rooms, it felt normal and she continued about her business.