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Power Outage Leaves Students and Professors in the Dark

By Jane Leonhardt

Last Tuesday, SUNY Albany’s Uptown Campus lost power twice due to construction upgrades at an off-campus electrical substation on Washington Avenue.

The campus went dark around 9 a.m. and again just before 3 p.m.

Mike Nolan, a UAlbany spokesperson said, “The outages were related to construction upgrade work at [the] off-site location. In both instances, the power that feeds the Podium and a few adjacent buildings was unexpectedly cut off.”

Buildings on the Academic Podium, University Hall and the Massry Center for Business Campus lost power. None of the Residence Halls (Indian, State, Colonial and Dutch Quad) or apartment buildings (Empire Commons, Freedom Quad and Liberty Terrace) saw a loss of power.

“UAlbany’s Office of Facilities Management worked quickly to identify restoration options, providing power from an alternate feed, and power was restored in a short time frame,” Nolan said in an email, “Thanks to their hard work, we did not see significant repercussions due to the loss of power.”

But because the loss of power was unexpected, some students and teachers experienced some confusion.

Professor Palmer of the Journalism Program was stuck in an elevator between the second and third floors of the Social Science Building.

“I had almost reached the third floor when the elevator shuddered to a stop. The lights cut off. I was alone – encompassed in darkness – but thank goodness an emergency light activated moments later. I could hear distant chatter of students reacting to the outage,” Palmer said.

Those students were not unlike Freshman Aryan Persaud who was across the Academic Podium in the Campus Center.

“People were walking around like they had class still,” Persaud said, “I was shocked and confused. I expected classes to be cancelled.”

Classes were not cancelled by the university and the power was back in minutes.

Still, Professor Palmer was ready for anything.

“I had a phone, two bottles of water in my briefcase and an empty bladder. After a few minutes the emergency power supply kicked in and the elevator opened as the basement level. I took the stairs.”

The Office of Facilities Management would like anyone experiencing issues still or in the future to contact them at 518-442-3480.


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