By Daniel Murray
On Monday October 26 a series of power outages began at Stony Brook University. These outages affected areas from Roosevelt Quad to the Engineering buildings and even buildings on South Campus. Power wasn’t restored to normal until November 2, one week from when the problem started. Generators were in place, though, while they worked to fix the problem.
In a statement released by President Samuel Stanley on this major issue, he cited that the problem was caused by “a structural failure of an underground hot water pipe, which probably led to the failure of nearby high voltage feeder cables, causing the loss of electrical power.”
With the state of New York in a budget crisis, the SUNY system and Stony Brook University have been hit particularly hard. With funding being cut to SUNY schools due to the Governor’s Deficit Reduction Plan, issues like the power outages may arise again.
“To add to our problems, I am concerned that this new series of budget cuts will make it even more difficult to deal with these kinds of emergencies in the future, both by reducing further monies available for preventative maintenance and for emergency response support staff,” said Stanley in his release.
The residents living in Roosevelt Quad were hit especially hard by these power outages for the obvious reasons that they have to live there. They had no hot water, heat or electricity for two days. That can be extremely difficult to deal with especially if you have work that needs to be done for classes.
“I went out to play soccer, and when I got back it was completely dark in the dorms,” said Kevin David, a freshman who lives in Greeley, a building in the Roosevelt Quad. “I couldn’t take a shower because there was no hot water and it was really dark.”
Roosevelt Quad would finally get power back that Wednesday morning, when the workers set up small generators to start giving electricity back to the building. However, these people still had to live like this for two days on cold nights.
“They had little generators outside the dorms that were really loud,” said Ed Fillemyr, a freshman living inside Greeley. “I’m kind of used to the noise because of the construction going on right next door, but for the people on the other side of the building that aren’t used to that, they started to complain.”
Some classes were also affected by these power outages. However, it did seem a little confusing how Stony Brook was putting out these messages. At first, a SOLAR message went out stating that classes in the specified buildings were canceled for the day due to the power outages. Later on though, on the website it stated that classes were back on because the power was back on in the buildings. This was confusing for some.
“On Monday I got a SOLAR message saying that my class was cancelled due to the power outages so I didn’t go,” said Leo DeMino, a senior engineering major. “But only half of the Heavy Engineering building was out of power and my class was in the half that had power, so they held class and I missed my extra credit assignment.”
With the state deficit looming overhead, it is difficult to find ways to fix major problems on campuses such as old pipes, but it needs to be done. The SUNY system needs to find a way to fix these problems.