Kleniewski said an outpouring of support offered by SUNY Oneonta staff and students, Sodexo, the American Red Cross, and other volunteers has been tremendous.
“The college is grateful to be a part of such a caring community,’’ she said.
At Chase Gym midday Thursday, some students said they stayed with friends Wednesday night. Several undergraduates, who requested anonymity, said they thought the alarm in Matteson Hall on Wednesday was a drill.
“We usually have drills right when school starts,’’ a female undergraduate said. “No one ever thinks this is going to happen.’’
“I thought someone burned popcorn — there was no smoke — nothing,’’ said another student who lived on the third floor. But he left the building, he said, and at some point saw flames.
The woman said she was among the 18 students who stayed in Chase Gym on Wednesday night.
“I couldn’t sleep — I just kept thinking about it and what might happen,’’ she said. “Also, the lights were on.’’
A friend nearby said the gymnasium was a depressing environment, but she tried to encourage him about the temporary housing.
“It’s like a slumber party,’’ she said. “So you should just join in.’’