It Happened to Me: Stuck in the Higley Elevator

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BREAKING: Senior Kenyatta (Kenny) Viel ’17 got STUCK in an ELEVATOR! Kenny is a senior Molecular Biology major (with an Anth minor and an African Diaspora concentration), which means she spends quite a lot of time in the science quad. Last week, she spent way, WAY too much time in the science quad, getting stuck in the Higley elevator. Read on to hear her harrowing tale!

I sat down with Kenny last weekend after receiving a series of distressed snapchats detailing her entire elevator experience (“I’m stuck in the elevator” “wtf” “get me out of here” “can i graduate now” etc.). “I have been taking this elevator for four years,” she informed me, in a very incredulous and exasperated tone. Four years! And it waited aaalllll the way until senior year to crap out on her. Way to be considerate, Higley elevator!


Funnily enough, right before the dreaded elevator incident, Kenny’s PI told her about how he always takes the stairs, since he’s afraid of getting stuck in the elevator. Who would’ve thought that his wise words of caution would soon become a fateful prophecy?


“The door opens and I see this orange yellowish surface and I’m like ‘what the fuck is happening,'” Kenny began as we sat on the porch of O’Connor House one fine spring afternoon. She began frantically pressing buttons, as any human bean would do in her situation, to no avail. That was when her “cycles of fear and panic” began. “I thought I was gonna suffocate but then I heard the air coming through,” she explained. I definitely would not have thought to listen for the air and would most definitely have continued to panic due to suffocation. Kenny said she called campus safety, who were quite amused by her situation. Kenny, however, was less enthused by the entire situation. “I felt like a freshman who didn’t know how to use an elevator,” she explained. “There were so many hanging around jokes from campo” she continued. “They were like, ‘haha, you’re just hanging around down there, aren’t you?’ And I was like, ‘I know this is funny deep inside but right now I am just so sad.'”


She didn’t know how long she was going to be down there (spoiler alert: she was stuck for an hour) so she called the fire department. Then she played drop sevens, some solitaire, took a bunch of snapchats, and tried to write her thesis. She soon discovered that “when you’re trapped in an elevator, you just can’t do homework.” Once the fire department arrived, they reset the elevator and Kenny was finally free. Her parting words to her story are as follows:

“Thanks, Obama. Thanks, Graham Gund. Can I graduate now?”

Kenny later messaged me to inform me that yellow caution tape had been placed over the Higley Elevator.

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