Outage leaves lower campus in the dark

By Rochelle McConkie, News Editor

Lower campus went dark Thursday afternoon because a high voltage switch in a power line in Building 44, a small office building near the Skaggs Biology Building, shorted out.

The power went out around 4:30 p.m. and by about 5:15 p.m., power had been restored to all buildings except the Marriott Library, Skaggs Biology Building and the Performing Arts Building. Cory Higgins, director of plant operations, said these buildings were on the power feed that was at fault, which was locked down until they can determine the cause of the outage.

By 6 p.m., power was restored to these buildings as well, but power to Building 44 remained shut off.

“When there’s a fault on any circuit, it sends a surge back to any source, which can trip other things up,” Higgins said. Although many students left the library when the power went out, many kept studying by the natural light coming through the windows.

“We have a big final at 6 p.m. and we don’t know if we’ll still have it,” said Annette Andersen, a junior in accounting, who was studying for a final in information systems. “That’s why we’re sticking around.”

Mike Day, who works with library safety and security, said the major inconvenience of the outage was having to do book checkouts manually and not being able to help patrons search for books through the library catalog.

“It’s been quieter,” Day said.

First-year Master of Business Administration students Ashley Anderson and Bryson Brey, who were studying for a final later that evening outside the Christensen Center, said they have been through this before.

“Last semester, the power went out in the middle of our accounting final,” Anderson said. “We were with our cell phones and laptops trying to illuminate our tests.”
Brey said the teaching assistant who was administering the test didn’t have the authority to stop the exam.

“Hopefully that won’t happen again,” Brey said.

[email protected]

Erik Daenitz

Gordon Smith director of the graduate program at the Business School is dunked as part of a business school fundraiser. The brief power outage on campus Thursday brought many students out of their classes and to the event.