Last Tuesday, Queens College experienced a power outage that cut off electricity and network services to Powdermaker Hall, Frese Hall, and J Bldg./Alumni Hall, resulting in all classes and activities being canceled in the effected buildings until the following day.
At 11:25 am on that day, the Office of Building and grounds sent out a message stating that:
“There has been a power outage to one of the electrical feeds which provides power to campus. The following areas are affected: Powdermaker Hall, Frese Hall, and J Building/Alumni Hall. As a result of the power outage, network services such as Wi-Fi are unavailable in these locations.”
Through the course of the day several more memos were sent out by the college and by CUNY reaffirming the aforementioned statement, until it was confirmed at 5:30 pm that power has been restored.
When asked to expand upon what specific ‘electrical issues’ caused the power outage, Zeco Krcic, Assistant Vice President for Facilities, Planning, and Operations told The Knight News that:
“A large equipment motor seized and grounded and triggered Powdermaker Hall’s main electrical service switch to trip; as a safety precaution, it stopped electrical service to Powdermaker and — by a common service feed — to the other buildings.”
So why were Powdermaker Hall, Frese Hall, and J Building/Alumni Hall the only buildings affected by the power outage? In a statement given to The Knight News Krcic said that:
“All three buildings are on a common service feed from our utility company, thereby causing a chain reaction and power outage in all three buildings. This utility network design is typical of many large facilities with multiple buildings.”
Olivia Tcholakian, Service Corps Program Director of Employer Relations was in Fresse Hall when the power outage occurred, Tcholakian stated that:
“It was a bit confusing as we were not made aware of a confirmed outage until the general campus email blast at 11:26, and I did not see any Public Safety Officers in Frese Hall until 11:15, when I confirmed that they were evacuating the building after inquiring why the doors were locked. There was no announced evacuation on our floor.”
Robin Gaerlan, a junior majoring in Secondary Education and Youth Services was in his English 202W class when the power outage occurred. “It was a shock for all of us especially when we had an observer and we had a presenter that day as well. We had to relocate outside and do our lecture on the Quad,” Gaerlan said.
Sahdat Hossain, a junior majoring in Accounting, had midterms scheduled at the same time that the power outage was in effect. Due to the power outage the midterms that Hossain was supposed to take that day were canceled and pushed back to a later date which resulted in multiple midterm pilling up on a single day.
“The recent power outage pushed my midterms to be on the same day, leading to multiple midterms on a single day. This added more stress during the tests, and I ended up performing poorly in one exam due to the overwhelming pressure,” Hossain said.
The Knight News will provide updates as they come in. “The matter is currently under review, and we will provide an update on details that may become available,” the college said.