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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Student union loses more than $15 thousand following UA lockdown

After a 911 call about a gunman reportedly seen in the Administration building caused police to shut down several areas on campus Friday, the Student Union Memorial Center is facing a total of $16,017.34 in financial losses so far.

The 911 call prompted the lockdown and evacuation of the Administration building. Officers also evacuated the Student Union Memorial Center, the Modern Languages building and the UA Mall.

The loss of sales accounted for the majority of the financial losses, with a total of $12,264, followed by labor loss for a total of $2,583.21 and a total product loss of $1,170.13.

Many employees evacuated the building while still on the clock, and in some cases left kitchen equipment turned on and left some food to go to waste, said Joel Hauff, interim director of Arizona Student Unions.

“We noticed cops surrounding the student union. Our crew locked down all of the gates … no one was allowed towards the garage,” said Cody Baron, a business freshman and a Papa John’s employee. “Slowly, they [Tucson Police Department officers] were letting people out of the union.”
After staff and students were locked out of the building for four hours, Hauff said he decided the Cellar Bistro would be the only business to open its doors again that night.

“When the word came down that we needed to get out, people got out,” Hauff said. “We did leave with, in some cases, fryers on, or ovens on or a grill top on or things like that, and of course we have fire suppression systems and other things in place to deal with that, if it became a problem.”

After getting permission from police officers, around 8 p.m. a small team was allowed to go through each unit and quickly make sure cash registers were locked and turned off, grills and fryers were off and that everything was secured, Hauff said.

“We decided that we wouldn’t re-open anything in the food court, but that if we could get it done by 10 p.m., we would go ahead and re-open the Cellar [Bistro],” Hauff said. “The Cellar [Bistro] is typically open until 2 a.m. on a Friday night — it’s a very important service for especially the northern part of campus, because they don’t have other food options that are close by to go to.”

However, other restaurants had closed by this time, and some were forced to throw away food product that had been sitting in ovens or on shelves for hours. The Cactus Grill saw a total of $163.77 in product loss; however, Starbucks saw no product loss at all.

While Burger King, Panda Express and Papa John’s also saw a loss, it did not affect the student union, as they are outside corporations, according to Hauff.

For the UofA Bookstore, the early closure was not a huge setback, according to Dillon Nakata, marketing and communications manager for the UA Bookstores.

“It wasn’t too major for us because in reality, we close at six, so we only really lost an hour and even probably less than that,” Nakata said. “I don’t think the announcement was even made here until like a little bit after five.

“Comparing the hour from this year to last year, last year we did 34 additional transactions, versus this year we couldn’t do any in that hour,” he added.

Aside from labor, food costs and revenue loss, the emotional impact of the gunman scare also had
to be taken into account, said Todd Millay, the marketing and communications manager for Arizona Student Unions.

“These are students — we have parents calling in … concerned about their kids, which is rightfully so. Nobody knows what’s going on,” Millay said.

The incident has since prompted discussion about how the situation could have been handled better, such as what went wrong and the safest place people could have gone.

“I will say, it’s nice that it was nothing,” Millay said.

In an attempt to recover some of the financial loss, the student union will be looking into filing an
insurance claim, Hauff said.

“I think any loss like this is a substantial loss, simply because … all of the [student] union’s revenues go to help support services for students,” Hauff said. “Given what could have happened on Friday or what the incident really could have represented … I’d much rather go through what we went through … and to incur this kind of a loss, than to actually go through something that was real … that the whole campus community would have to be dealing with.”

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