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Power outage caused inconvenience to faculty, students

A power outage on the west side of campus canceled classes and ended the work day early for some students, faculty and staff.

A transformer blew near McFall Center, cutting power in the Administration Building, Shatzel Hall, Founders Hall, West Hall, Family and Consumer Sciences, McFall, South hall, Hanna Hall and University Hall, said Dave Keilmeyer, University spokesperson.

Classes were canceled in the affected buildings until 5 p.m. and the University let faculty and staff go home in the powerless buildings for safety reasons, Kielmeyer said.

“There were no elevators and the hallways and stairwells were dark … it’s a safety concern,” he said. “There’s not much you can accomplish without power.”

Both University and city utilities responded to the scene, getting the power back on around 3:15 p.m., said Brian O’Connell, city utilities director.

Neither O’Connell or Kielmeyer were certain what caused the outage.

“Electric outages occur for random reasons,” O’Connell said. “The equipment can fail, animals can get in there or it could be a bad fuse. They operate 24/7, so over time they wear down.”

The outage not only affected the electrical employees but also the campus community.

Akiko Jones, director of Asian Studies, said she had just gotten out of class at Shatzel Hall when the power went out, disrupting a tutoring session with her graduate assistant.

“The session wasn’t canceled, but it was hard to see,” Jones said, whose office is located in Shatzel as well.

Junior Maren Legg had to lead a group of perspective students into West Hall during the outage.

“I had to use the flashlight app on my phone to lead them through the building,” Legg said. “It didn’t look good, but the [group] was understanding.”

Some students had their routines delayed by the outage.

“I couldn’t use the elevator or the computer lab,” said freshman Parker Henry, who lives in Founders. “It didn’t affect my class schedule, but it affected my convenience. I am more behind now.”

Freshman Meghan Murray was also affected by the outage in her residence hall.

“My PED wouldn’t work because of the outage,” she said. “So I couldn’t even get to my homework because it was in my room, which I couldn’t get into.”

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