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Campus News

Back to normal on the South Campus

By SUE WUETCHER

Published September 10, 2015

It was business as usual on the South Campus on Thursday after power was restored following a daylong outage affecting the entire campus that forced UB to cancel classes on Wednesday.

Power was restored at 3 a.m. on Thursday. The outage occurred at 8:33 a.m. on Wednesday when one of two sources of power to the South Campus failed as National Grid crews were conducting maintenance work on the other power source.

The outage affected electricity, telephone, network and other information-technology service to all buildings and facilities on the campus.

As crews worked to restore power Wednesday morning, UB administrators decided to cancel all classes on the South Campus until 5 p.m., with the expectation that power would be restored and evening classes could be held. But with power still out at 4 p.m., administrators cancelled evening classes as well.

Figures supplied by the Office of Academic Affairs indicate that on a typical Wednesday, 169 graduate and undergraduate classes are scheduled on the South Campus.

Classes were held as scheduled on the North Campus, and UB Stampede buses maintained regular service between the North and South campuses.

UB notified the campus community of the power outage and cancellation of classes via UB Alert, the university’s emergency communications system. UB also posted information on its emergency website, the UB home page, MyUB and the UB Reporter. Visit the emergency website to sign up for UB Alert.

Despite the absence of power on the South Campus, the university tried to maintain as many services as possible.

Essential employees were asked to remain at work, while all other employees were instructed to check with their supervisors.

South Campus libraries, including the Health Sciences Library, remained open during the day, but with limited services.

Goodyear Dining Hall was open for lunch at no charge to students, but closed for dinner. Students were urged to travel to North Campus dining facilities for the remainder of the day. Goodyear reopened to serve breakfast on Thursday.

Big Blue, Campus Dining & Shop’s food truck, cancelled plans to serve lunch on the North Campus and set up shop instead on the South Campus next to the Health Sciences Library.

University police increased patrols on the campus, particularly during the overnight hours.

The university also worked to assist the 900 students living in Goodyear and Clement halls, the two South Campus residence halls.

Emergency generators were used to power the buildings’ fire safety and sprinkler systems, as well as emergency lighting and exit signage in the dorms’ hallways.

An emergency shelter was set up in a classroom in Greiner Hall on the North Campus, but students elected to remain in the residence halls overnight or bunked with friends on the North Campus, said Andrea Costantino, director of campus living.

Goodyear and Clement had hot water until about midnight, she said, and the outside air temperatures had cooled off toward late evening so the buildings were more comfortable.

The mood in the dorms was upbeat, Costantino reported, with cellphone-charging being the biggest issue of the day. Campus Living hooked up 12 to 15 power strips to generators and students took turns charging their phones.

“We tried to make this a community builder: Come down and charge your phone, have some pizza and listen to some music,” she said.

Overall, students “adjusted really well.”