Power outage hits main Georgia State campus

Students gathered outside the Natural Science Center after having to evacuate the building due to the campus power outage and fire alarm. Photo by Ruth Pannill| The Signal
Students gathered outside the Natural Science Center after having to evacuate the building due to the campus power outage and fire alarm. | Photo by Ruth Pannill, The Signal
Students gathered outside the Natural Science Center after having to evacuate the building due to the campus power outage and fire alarm.
Photo by Ruth Pannill | The Signal

Updated on April 15 at 10:19 a.m.

Power went out across Georgia State’s main campus for on Tuesday, April 14 at approximately 3:41 p.m.

Georgia State’s Technology Services reported that more than 10 buildings on campus were affected by the power outage.

Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations Abdul Momen said Georgia Power was working on a demonstration for a high-tension 115 kv transmission line when they accidentally tripped one of the circuits, which caused the outage.

“Within six minutes, they were able to restore the power,” Momen said. “There was a little bit of a hiccup in the computer center, [but] when I left, everything came back to normal.”

Some affected buildings included Langdale Hall, University Center, University Library, Arts and Humanities, and College of Education. Sparks Hall, Natural Science Center, Sports Arena, Courtland North and Kell Hall also experienced the power outage, according to several Georgia State students.

Emergency alarms sounded throughout the University Center for several minutes, and traffic lights near Sparks Hall, Library Plaza and the Student*University Center also lost power temporarily. Phones on the lower level of the University Center were not functioning for more than an hour after power was restored, including those in The Signal’s office.

Students were not permitted to reenter the University Center when power was restored. Phillip Wells, Director of Administrative and Customer Services at Auxiliary and Support Services, was assigned to prevent students from entering the University Center. At the time, he said he was unaware of what caused the outage.

Effect on campus

The power outage also resulted in WRAS, Georgia State’s student-run radio station, being kicked off the air.

“We were off the air for between two and two and a half hours,” Assistant Director for Student Media Bryce McNeil said.

In that time, McNeil and the WRAS staff called the help line to get the station back up.

“A lot of the problems were connected to the fact that the phone lines on the floor that we operate out of weren’t working. So even though power got restored, and our board was turned back on and all those other things, without the phone lines, we couldn’t get back onto the system,” McNeil said. “Once were were able to get back onto the system, we had to reboot a few things to get set up again. And then once we did that, we were back on the air.”

WRAS has been running smoothly since it went back on air, according to McNeil.

Several students also took to the social media app Yik Yak to report outages on campus.

Sophomore marketing major Jewel Brown was working on a presentation in Saxbys when the power went out.

“I was actually just sitting here working on a PowerPoint for my CIS [computer information systems] class, and I looked up and everything went dark. I mean, I was cool, because my laptop wasn’t affected,” he said. “I feel bad for everybody on those regular computers. They could’ve lost their paper, or they could’ve been taking an online test.”

Brown also said credit card machines in Saxbys were still not functioning when power was restored.

As of 5:44 p.m. on April 14, IS&T (Information Services and Technology) engineering staff were still working to repair network, telephone and server infrastructure functionality across campus. Updates regarding affected services will be posted at status.gsu.edu.

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