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Lights out: campus power, internet outage Friday

May 2, 2013

If you noticed yesterday’s temporary power loss around 7 a.m., you were witness to the final act of a campus snake that slithered over the power switch that supplies power to the entire college. The resulting power surge has seriously compromised Beloit College’s power supply and Alliant Energy believes this switch could fail at any moment.

Assuming that failure doesn’t happen beforehand, Alliant has agreed to wait until 4 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) to begin that work.

What this means (in brief): 

  • No power:  The campus will be without power from 4 p.m.- 10 p.m. tomorrow, FRIDAY, May 3 (best case scenario) while Alliant performs this work. If they encounter any unexpected issues, this power outage may last into the night.
  • No Internet:  All of campus will be without Internet access (including wifi and most, if not all, library resources), power, or hot water. Jenzabar and will also be offline.
  • Friday’s final exam block is being moved up one hour:  As a result of this emergency replacement, the 2-5 p.m. exam block will be pushed to 1-4 p.m. (which will require some flexibility from faculty members if students have back-to-back finals tomorrow; affected students should point out this need to professors in the earlier block).
  • Science Center and Hendricks Center will be open, powered:  Arrangements have been made to have the Science Center powered by an industrial generator, and the building will be open and staffed for students seeking a study or social space. Because the Hendricks Center is off the main campus power supply, it will also be open to students (some special interest houses will also have power—a list of those will be included in the next update). No campus Internet access will be available in either building, however.

Additional details:

  • Friday dinner will be served in Commons, as usual. Bon Appetit will serve study snacks in the Science Center, starting at 8 p.m.
  • Students are being asked to be cautious, safe:  As a result of this outage, door locks, fire alarms, and other safety instruments will be off-line. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that students refrain from using candles in their rooms, travel in groups, and otherwise exercise caution.
  • Campus security and Beloit Police will have an increased presence on campus tomorrow evening.

Students, staff, and faculty are urged to make alternate plans:

Students should plan to charge their phones and laptops in advance of tomorrow’s outage. While the Science Center and Hendricks Center will be fully functional (with the exception of Internet access), you may want to seek out other study spaces off campus with wifi access. (Please note, the Beloit Public Library is only open until 5:30 p.m. on Fridays).

Faculty are asked to please work with students whose final exam on Friday is moved up. Please also prepare for tomorrow’s power outageby turning off all electronic equipment. Consult the IT Help Desk with any questions.

Staff should look to supervisors for information on schedules late tomorrow. Staff should also power down all computers and other equipment as appropriate prior to 4 p.m.

Thank you, and please bear with us:

Several departments on campus are marshaling forces to deal with this unfortunately timed event. We believe that this timing is the best of many uncomfortable options. Your patience, grace, and understanding is appreciated. More information will be shared as necessary via email or the college’s emergency alert system.