Who turned out the lights? USD campuswide power outage
Late Thursday afternoon, just before four o’clock, the University of San Diego campus was plunged in darkness. USD officials are unsure what the specific cause of the outage was.
The outage caused the entirety of campus to go dark, from Shiley Center for Science and Technology on west campus to the Alcala Vista Apartments on the east side of campus.
Many students were dismissed from class as the university dealt with the problem. Within several minutes of no power, the power came back on most of campus. Despite a few residual glitches, including students stuck in elevators and the occupants of Shiley standing on the sidewalk outside La Paloma, the campus seemed to be functioning again.
Students, faculty, and staff were evacuated from Shiley this afternoon during the outage. Christopher Daley, a professor of chemistry at USD, was standing on the curb with many of the students.
“Well, we don’t know why the power went out for the whole building,” Daley said. “Once the power goes out, it shuts off all the hoods. All the labs that are going on have hoods that keep the chemical smell and everything out of the way. So, actually though, the power is back on, the hoods are not back on, and we are waiting for facilities to come and turn on the hoods.”
Daley explained that there was a myriad of chemicals smelling in the building. Once the hoods are turned back on, the chemical smell leaves the building with assistance of the fans, and the building becomes inhabitable again.
Np While many seemed to mistake the power outage to have been the cause of a gas leak in Shiley, this may not be the case. However, the smell of gas leaking may not have been the cause, some chemicals used in Shiley can emit a similar odor to natural gas, when there is no actual leak.
Junior Garrett Evanson is a marine science major. Evanson explained that he was in his organic chemistry class when the building was evacuated.
“We were working with [chemicals, including] sodium benzoate and dichloromethane,” Evanson said. “Shiley has been closed for at least an hour and a half. There [are] gas and chemicals in there.”
USD released a follow-up email to inform students of the situation briefly.
“The University of San Diego campus has been experiencing intermittent power outages, particularly on the west end of campus, which have resulted in the closure of Copley Library,” the email stated.
USD also encouraged students to decrease their power usage for the next 24 hours, while USD Facilities Management and San Diego Gas and Electric ascertain that the power is working properly on the whole of campus.
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall (SOLES) will be closed on Friday, Sept. 30 for repairs, and no classes will be held in that building. For more information visit the USD website.
Written by Sarah Brewington, Associate Editor and Brooklyn Dippo, Editor in Chief