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Mount Carmel campus loses power for fourth time this school year

By on March 27, 2018

Wire problems caused power outages in the Hill, Village and Commons residence halls, leaving students stranded on March 19.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
During the outage, students were evacuated to the Carl Hansen Student Center, the Arnold Bernhard Library and the Athletic and Recreation center. The email also suggested that students “spend the night with friends in a residence hall with power.”

This isn’t the first time that there have been outages this academic year. Mark DeVilbiss, director of residential life, said that there have been three other instances of power outages on the Mount Carmel campus this academic year. He also mentioned that other power outages this year were caused by the weather or situations “out of our control,” according to an email from QU News.

On Nov. 10, 2017 there was an outage in Hill, Village, Commons, Student Health Services and the Bobcat Den, according to the QU News email. Students who were evacuated night were treated to pizza, handed out in the Cafe, for their trouble.

This semester, there have been two other outages, one on Jan. 29, and another on March 8. The latter was a brief outage on main campus, which the QU Alert emails said was resolved in less than 2 hours, as they were able to get United Illuminating, Quinnipiac’s utility company, to come fix it.

During the most recent outage, Nicole Uysal, a sophomore from Village, said that she ended up driving with her roomate, Kirsten Drakopoulos, to her home in to Shelton, which is 40 minutes away. Due to that night’s emergency, she didn’t get to sleep until 5 a.m.

“By the time we got everything figured out, and got our cars from Westwoods and everything, it was so late. The professors didn’t care; it was an unexcused absence,” she said.

Power was lost at 11 p.m. but the order to evacuate wasn’t given until 12:35 a.m., according to the QU News email.

Drakopoulos thinks that the school could have been better about communicating what went on that night.

“Obviously, we told our parents, and my parents think that it’s ridiculous,” she said. “So, obviously, word gets around and they’re giving themselves a bad reputation.”

DeVilbiss acknowledged that the outages have become increasingly frustrating.

“I’ve had some students that are upset. I’ve had parents that called that are concerned,” he said.

Through all the incidents, DeVilbiss said that the response strategy has remained the same, utilizing Residential Life personel, organizing communication and evacuation and even creating temporary key cards for students. He understands that this was a team effort.

“I’m just very grateful for my colleagues at Facilities and Public Safety for working alongside Residential Life, supporting students and getting the power back on as quickly as possible,” DeVilbiss said.

In the event that another outage happens, DeVilbiss says that students should make sure that they are getting emergency text notifications, and also making sure they are following the orders of university officials.

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About Matt Grahn

Staff Writer, Journalism Major, Political Science Minor