Cal State Fullerton suffers campus-wide power outage

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(Zack Johnston / Daily Titan)

 

Cal State Fullerton hit a bump in the road to finals week when a power outage threw every building on campus, with the exception of College Park, into darkness on Tuesday.

The electrical incident, which began at 11:45 a.m. for a currently unknown reason, led to Associated Students, Inc. President Laila Dadabhoy getting stuck in an elevator. Dadabhoy’s was just one of about seven elevator entrapments across campus, said University Police Capt. Scot Willey.

“I would agree that there are mixed reactions,” Dadabhoy said in regards to whether students felt ecstatic over the fact that some classes were let out early or inconvenienced due to the outage’s proximity to final exams.

Second-year kinesiology major Benjamin Vargas was both.

“The lights cut off, and we found out that it happened in different buildings, so without the air or power we couldn’t continue class and were let out early,” Vargas said, coming from University Hall. “I actually had to do some stuff for another class, which was kind of nice, but it also kind of sucked because it cut class early and I wanted to ask the teacher some questions.”

However, Vargas noted that his professor was displeased by the developments.

“She’s very enthusiastic about our class, so every moment we can get, she’s constantly trying to have. If she had an extra hour, she’d do it,” Vargas said.   

Southern California Edison restored power in stages to affected buildings in the early afternoon, according to information provided by CSUF’s emergency information website.

“There were some buildings that had their emergency generators kick in, so there was limited power to some of the buildings. The police department has a backup generator, so we came back up right away,” Willey said. “College Park is on a separate power system, so they weren’t affected.”

Willey said these power outages are fairly common.

“This has happened once or twice a year over the last couple of years,” Willey said. “We have protocol in place where a facilities operations manager will report to the police station as well as some other managers from the university so that we can all coordinate our resources and talk about a plan of action.”

While these outages have become a common occurance on campus, Willey said today’s incident was unusual.

“Southern California Edison wasn’t able to tell us (the cause) during the time that I was dealing with them,” Willey said. “They weren’t able to identify what the problem was and what occurred.”

Around the time of the outages, Willey said campus dispatchers became completely inundated with calls informing University Police of the incident.

“We know. We’re dealing with it,” Willey said. “We really need to focus on emergencies that are occurring.”

Such emergencies included the elevator entrapments.

“To have that many elevators in that many buildings go down and to be able to respond within 20 minutes or so, I think everybody was relieved,” Willey said. “We sometimes get an avalanche of different issues going on at the same time.”

Going along with the theme of finals week, Willey said the Tuesday incident was a good test for the university.

“We were able to get emergency notification out fairly quickly,” Willey said.

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