By Jordana Kozupsky
Last Wednesday, the entire campus experienced the seventh unplanned power outage since 2008.
Director of Campus Safety Christopher Hayen wrote in a campus wide e-mail that the “loss was caused by a transformer problem on campus.” Although Assistant Director of Facilities Fred Puliafico failed to comment on the nature of this particular outage, he did say that the causes of the past seven outages included “problems with the grid outside of campus” and various “internal problems on campus.”
“So in 1,244 days,” Puliafico said, “we have had seven unplanned outages. Although these outages are very disruptive, given the age of the utility-owned grid and the complexity of our campus high voltage system, this does not seem excessive.”
The basement of Schaffer Library was unlit and Alumni Gymnasium was forced to shut down for a few hours.
“The power outage made for a very difficult afternoon and evening,” said Aviva Dworkin ‘12. “I couldn’t work in the library, and with my equivalent to a midterm in photography due the next day, I couldn’t even work on that. It sucked.”
Kendal Schwarz ‘12 noted that the blackout turned Schaffer into a more social atmosphere.
“It felt like the library turned into Reamer because everyone stopped whispering and people were just laughing and freaking out,” she said. “I was half expecting someone to start playing music.”
On the administrative side of things, the power outage provided Dining Services with the challenge of cooking without electricity to power all of the stoves and ovens.
Director of Dining Services David Gaul explained that the power went out right when the cooks were beginning to prepare dinner.
“We were compensating by tailoring our menu for the night and using portable heating methods for keeping food hot,” Gaul explained.
Many students also noticed the change of locations for dinner; those who wanted Dutch Hollow were encouraged to go to Rathskeller and upperclassmen were redirected to the cafeteria in West.
Student Forum President Mital Patel ‘12 decided to conduct the weekly student government meeting in the dark. “I sent out an e-mail to all of our members assuring them that they would never have to worry about their nightmare coming to life—they would never have to experience a Wednesday without Forum because our meeting was still on!” Patel explained.
Her plan was a success, although Forum members did have to find ways to provide adequate lighting: “Our meeting slowly began looking like a concert as cell phones were pulled out and used as a light source.”