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A Weekend of Darkness

By Nelson Arroyo Jr
On March 1, 2019

Last Saturday night you might have been preparing to go out with your friends, or planning to spend a nice night in, when the campus was suddenly plunged into darkness. This was shortly followed by yelling on campus, with a minority of students calling for a riot.

On February 23rd, Plymouth State University lost all power to campus for nearly 18 hours in total. Marlin Collingwood, the director of Marketing and Communications, said, “A failed splice in an underground high voltage cable which was located in a manhole in the grass on the west side of Speare caused the power outage.”

The power outage affected many students across campus; for some students, it caused more than just losing power. Noah Fiske, a PSU Junior said, “The blackouts caused the outlets in my room to stop working and they didn’t get fixed till Sunday night. I also had to throw out all my food, because it all went bad.” Not all students were majorly affected by the blackouts, though. Jacob Corbin, A PSU Sophomore said, “It actually didn’t affect me at all.” Collingwood has reported that there were no damages to the actual campus. However, Collingwood said that there was one small fire, saying, “The only one we are aware of was a small fire caused by several pizza boxes set on fire outside.”

On top of that, there were accounts of people trying to incite riots in the student apartments. Evan Gradeski, a PSU Sophomore had this to say about the fires: “I believed that it wasn’t the brightest and most mature act of the individuals that participated and or started it. They were lucky it didn’t get out of hand. Not good for the students and definitely not good for local perspective on the school.”

Collingwood discourages this kind of behavior during these kinds of situations, “Students should remain calm, report any power outages to the Resident Life staff or The University Police Department and stay alert for updated information via text and/or email for details, instructions, etc.” Students are also urged to practice good emergency preparedness for any possible future blackouts. “Keep your electronic devices charged, have a flashlight with fresh batteries in your room or apartment and sign-up for campus text alerts to receive updated information regarding any campus emergency,” said Collingwood.

With all the uncertainty and fear of what might be happening to the power, Collingwood wanted to let the student body know: “Thanks to the entire campus for their patience during the 18 hours or so when the power was out. We worked hard to provide power overnight Saturday to nearly all the residence halls and the crews worked with outside contractors most of Sunday to get power restored to the entire campus. Overall students were understanding and patient which is much appreciated.” Whether you were late to turn in a project or didn’t even notice, make sure to always stay prepared for power outages in the future.


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