USF students experienced some confusion Tuesday afternoon when one of the campus-wide Emergency Notification System speakers malfunctioned.
The malfunction caused the system to sound an alert stating that there was a tornado warning in effect and that students should remain indoors.
University Police spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said the incident was not a test of the system.
“The system had one speaker announce that there was a tornado, and we had to work out that it was a malfunction with the speaker,” she said.
Ross said the system usually tests itself and alerts someone when a speaker goes offline. The incident was very unusual, she said.
The speaker is located near the University Lecture Hall, and Ross said it is has been repaired.
Raquel Rhoades, a junior majoring in history, said the alarm interrupted her 12:30 p.m. class for a couple of minutes.
“I was sitting (in class) and I heard the alarms going off at first,” she said. “Then, we heard the tail end of the message about the tornado. No one seemed alarmed but were curious as to what was happening outside.”
Rhoades said the alarm only sounded once and did not interrupt the rest of her class.
The University did not enable its emergency text-response to inform students of the incident, but posted on the USF website that the alarm was false.