As some prepare for Week 4 midterms, student dorms lose power

Oct. 16, 2019, 12:15 a.m.

Power outages struck parts of campus around 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, leaving a broad swath of campus without electricity, according to an AlertSU notification sent an hour later.

Affected buildings included Crothers Memorial, Stern Hall, Cowell Cluster, the Bookstore, Vaden Health Center, Wilbur Field Garage, Barnum Center and Taper Student Center, according to an AlertSU message regarding the outage. Some of the buildings were placed on generator power, according to the alert. No classes were affected.

The source of the outage was unknown until 8 a.m. Wednesday, when technicians identified a failed power cable between Stern Hall and the Stanford Bookstore. 

It was not until 4 p.m. Wednesday that power was restored to all affected buildings, aside from the Bookstore and Barnum Center, which were back online around 5:30 p.m. As part of the power restoration process, power was briefly cut off at 3:30 p.m. in additional buildings, including Branner Hall, Encina Hall and Commons, Terman Engineering, The Nitery, Toyon Hall, Wilbur Hall and several construction trailers.

Tri Delta resident Anooshree Sengupta ’22 told The Daily that power in Tri Delta went out around 8 p.m., contradicting the time stated by the alert.   

In dorms without power, staff distributed flashlights, according to the alert, which added that students should refrain from using candles. Students were also advised to go to Arrillaga Family Dining Commons or Lagunita Dining until restoration of power.

“Fire alarm systems and keycard access will continue operating on battery power,” the Alert reported.

An entrance to the Crothers Memorial Hall dormitory was left open while key card access was offline, according to an email sent by a resident assistant in the dorm. Residents were instructed to lock their own doors due to the potential for non-resident access.

This article has been updated with information on the determined cause of the outage, the timeline and the process by which power was restored.

A previous version of this article referred to Anooshree Sengupta as a Daily staffer. The Daily regrets this error.

Contact Leily Rezvani at lrezvani ‘at’

Leily Rezvani is the managing editor of podcasts and a desk editor of news. She is a sophomore majoring in Symbolic Systems in hopes of better understanding the intersection between technology and the humanities. Leily has interned for National Public Radio, Google Arts and Culture, the United Nations Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Contact Leily at lrezvani ‘at’

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