The Jolly Giant Commons during the Public Safety Power Shutoff on Oct. 27. | Photo by James Wilde

How HSU Handled Its Second Blackout

For the second outage to affect Humboldt in less than a month, students and staff were better prepared for the darkness and the subsequent time off.

For the second outage to affect Humboldt in less than a month, students and staff were better prepared for the darkness and the subsequent time off

After Humboldt County’s first Public Safety Power Shutoff, students and staff at Humboldt State University were better prepared when the latest outage hit the county the night of Saturday, Oct. 26.

Marine biology sophomore Tyler Nagle spent his Sunday at a beach in Trinidad with friends.

“I went to the beach, got a campfire going, roasted some s’mores and looked at the stars,” Nagle said.

While Nagle said he’s learned how to prepare for these outages, he did have concerns about the outages’ impact on classes.

“I definitely think this has taken a hit on my learning,” Nagle said. “But I hope these will be more few and far in between.”

Vice President for Administration and Finance and HSU Emergency Operations Center Director Douglas Dawes said it’s too early to make any calls about how the outages will affect the semester’s class schedule, but he said HSU will be in touch with its academic accreditor.

Otherwise, Dawes said he’s proud of the way the campus has handled the outages.

“There have been some hiccups, but we’re getting through it,” Dawes said.

Dawes said one generator failed over the weekend, but Facilities Management quickly moved around generators to keep providing power to the most essential buildings on campus including the Jolly Giant Commons, Student Recreations Center and residence halls.

“They’ve been champions,” Dawes said. “Our facilities team has been keeping everything together.”

Daniel Valencia, a sophomore kinesiology major, normally works at The Depot. During the outage, Valencia helped out at The J. When not working, Valencia said he enjoyed his hobbies.

“I picked up skating more,” Valencia said. “And I’ve been looking into hobbies like reading and painting.”

Zane Eddy, a master’s student in the environmental science and management program, came from an undergraduate program at the University of Oregon. Eddy said he was surprised by the outages.

“It’s really odd having these power outages,” Eddy said.

Eddy spent his free time going to Clam Beach and picking chanterelle mushrooms. Eddy said he believes the outages will make people understand their dependence on others for power.

“We’re part of a larger system and we’re part of a larger environment,” Eddy said.

While preparing for the outages on Friday, Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management Jason Meriwether echoed Dawes and said he was proud of how HSU handled the first outage.

“That was a positive thing that we responded to the power outage in that way,” Meriwether said. “Now, in my opinion, that’s how it should always be and that’s how it will be. But I think students were happy to know we took that approach.”

Dawes said HSU served 4,400 meals on Sunday. While he admitted that HSU incurred some significant costs in diesel and food, he said a percentage of those costs can be covered by disaster funds.

On Tuesday, HSU uploaded a response page for students wondering why classes are cancelled during the outage. The page noted concerns over safety, non-functioning technology and a focus on personal wellbeing. The page also explained why it takes time to reopen campus even once power is restored.

“It takes a great deal of time to safely re-open the campus, including powering down and disconnecting generators, resetting locks, and ensuring fire suppression systems are working,” HSU’s post said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, HSU classes are set to resume on Thursday, Oct. 31.

In the future, Dawes said HSU will likely look toward generating more of its own power.

“Having more generation for the campus would be a huge help,” Dawes said. “So we’ll be looking into doing that.”

For now, Dawes wanted to thank staff, faculty and students for restoring his faith and hope in humanity.

“We’ve got really good students that want to provide for others,” Dawes said. “And staff that really care about providing for students as well.”

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply