News

Stanford cancels classes, will remain ‘in the dark’ for days to come

June 23, 2022, 8:15 p.m.

Stanford canceled summer session classes for Thursday and Friday and is encouraging employees to work from home amid an ongoing power outage that has halted life on the Farm. Though there is no concrete timeline established, University officials shared Thursday evening that they remain “cautiously optimistic,” not certain, that full power will be restored to the main campus by the upcoming weekend.

Still, “the timing could change,” according to the email. 

Furthermore, once PG&E completes repairs and restores the power supply to the main campus, it can also take several hours to safely re-energize campus facilities. “We do not expect resumption of full campus activities until Monday at earliest,” they added.

As of Wednesday, PG&E had not provided a concrete timeline for the restoration. The University made the decision to cancel classes citing the “increasing possibility of a multiple-day disruption and the time required to re-start classrooms and equipment even once power is restored,” according to an Alert SU sent that evening.

The power failure, which began Tuesday, June 21 from local fire damage in the PG&E substations in the Interstate-280 region near San Mateo County, has forced students to rely on university resources and word from communications.

The Department of Comparative Medicine shared with students in an email that they are hopeful that
“PG&E will be able to perform repairs to the main power feed (Jefferson Line) to the Stanford Campus and local communities in 2-3 days.”

While PG&E is provided limited power through a secondary line, the University stated that campus buildings “with the highest priority needs” are being prioritized because it is not enough to support normal operations, especially with unusually hot weather in the bay. Buildings of most importance include the Stanford hospital and “critical infrastructure on campus.” Many should expect no additional buildings will be supplied with normal power as Stanford continues to operate in a limited capacity on emergency generators, according to The Department of Comparative Medicine.

Distributing power to other important sectors of campus remains a challenge. “Allocation of resources for research continuity remains a priority,” The University wrote. “However, researchers should continue to refrain from performing any non-critical activities on the main campus.”

Alongside classes, conference activities are being held in alternative spaces. For the remainder of the week, Bing Nursery School, Madera Grove, CCSC and Stock Farm Road childcare facilities will also be closed. 

University spokesperson E.J. Miranda reiterated to The Daily that all students have access to meals and respite spaces with air conditioning, and that outlets to charge electronics are available for all students at these locations.

For graduate students who need immediate assistance, Miranda wrote that they can contact the graduate life dean on call by either emailing a message with phone number and reason for paging to [email protected]. Students can also contact the Stanford Operator at (650) 723-7288 and provide them with pager ID #25085.

In another email, Miranda wrote that the Deans of the Graduate Life office “contacted all students in isolation to ask if they had specific needs.” For isolating students who need access to external power sources to recharge their electronic devices, charging stations are available in outdoor areas at the GCC and Studio 2 in outdoor locations. Isolating students were told to wear a mask if they needed to go to a charging station to charge their electronics, Miranda wrote to the Daily.

Additionally, Miranda wrote to the Daily that “resident students impacted by the power outage may file a Power Outage Support Request,” with students being eligible for an emergency stipend of $100 to help with expenses related to food spoilage and eating out, and additional funding available for those who need to replace medications. Lastly, graduate students with additional needs are “encouraged to submit a request for Emergency Grant In Aid.”

This article has been updated to reflect new information shared with the Stanford community on the power restoration timeline.

Kyla Figueroa ‘24 is a Vol. 260–262 Managing Editor for The Grind and a staff writer for Arts & Life. She is a junior from Stockton, California studying English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and minor in CSRE. Ask her about the indie rock and pop music scene, the coming-of-age genre, and Slaughterhouse-Five at kfigueroa ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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