LSA senior Katherine Marion was in the middle of a biochemistry exam yesterday in the Chemistry Building when the lights suddenly went out.
More than 100 students continued taking their exams by emergency lights until the main lights came on 10 mintues later, Marion said..
Marion’s experience was caused by a power outage on Central Campus yesterday that affected eight to 10 campus buildings and resulted in a number of canceled classes. The power outage was the result of a power failure that occurred at about 10:05 a.m., according to Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the University’s Department of Public Safety.
As of 12:30 p.m. yesterday, most of the eight to 10 buildings had regained power, with the exception of East Hall, which did not have electricity until 7:30 p.m. last night.
Due to the lack of power, all classes and exams scheduled in East Hall were cancelled for the rest of the day. Esrold Nurse, assistant dean of undergraduate education, sent an e-mail to select LSA students announcing the decision.
“I am writing to let you know due to a major power outage, all classes scheduled in East Hall have been cancelled for the remainder of today (November 2, 2011),” Nurse wrote. “If you have an exam today or this evening in East Hall, you will need to contact either the instructor or the department.”
Due to East Hall’s continued outage into the evening, Economics Prof. Miles Kimball moved the Economics 102 exams scheduled for last night from East Hall to the Modern Language Building and the Dennison Building. In addition to notifying students of the changed location via e-mail, signs with redirections were placed in East Hall. The exam’s start time was also delayed in case students went to the incorrect location.
East Hall will be open for all normal activities starting this morning.
Other buildings reportedly affected by the outage included Angell Hall, Dennison Building, the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, the Chemistry Building and the Ross School of Business.
After the outage, there was a subsequent surge at 12:23 p.m. at one of DTE Energy’s nearby switching stations, according to Brown. Many buildings experienced a “power bump” following the incident that caused them to temporarily lose electricity. The second outage, which extended to the Medical Campus, caused the buildings to temporarily lose power again.
University spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said the University used several forms of social media including e-mails, Twitter and Facebook, along with website announcements and digital displays at the Hill Dining Center and North Quad dining hall to alert students of the outage.
Islamic history Prof. Michael Bonner continued teaching his class in Angell Hall despite the outage. In an e-mail interview, Bonner likened the experience to a concert that pianist Vladimir Horowitz gave at Carnegie Hall in 1965 despite a power outage in the auditorium that forced him to play in the dark.
“I didn’t want to waste time,” Bonner wrote.
— Daily Staff Reporter Haley Goldberg contributed to this report.