Power outage cancels classes for some, sends others outside

Jerome C. Pandell

An electrical blackout partially shut down power in 17 academic buildings and residence halls throughout the Evanston Campus for more than two hours Wednesday.

One main power lines operated by Commonwealth Edison shut down at about 11 a.m., said Brian Kittle, a project manager for Facilities Management. ComEd technicians restored power at about 2 p.m., Kittle said. Power for Northwestern facilities was rerouted through an alternate feeder.

“(NU’s power supply) is not all on a (single) line, so if one of these lines goes out, another one still functions,” he said. “I’m not sure why it went out. … These are acts of God that happen.”

The power outage affected 1835 Hinman, University Hall, Communications Residential College, Kresge Centennial Hall, International Studies Residential College, Leverone Hall, Jones Residential College, Annie May Swift Hall, the Sports Pavilion and Aquatics Center, Deering Library, the McCormick Tribune Center, Frances Searle Hall, Alice Millar Chapel, Harris Hall, Cooke Hall, the Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly, Hogan Hall and a building at 555 Clark St. that houses several departments including the Office of University Relations and Center for Public Safety.

Classes in affected buildings were dismissed, continued or moved outside, some students and faculty members said.

Journalism Adjunct Lecturer Jon Marshall said he could not use a computer projector in his newswriting class once the lights went off but kept the class going through discussion.

“I taught for a year in Kenya where we didn’t have any electricity to begin with,” Marshall said. “Just because we didn’t have some technological gizmos didn’t throw me too far off.”

Weinberg senior Jed Painter said his class in Kresge moved outside. “I’m a Spring Quarter senior. I’d rather study outside anyway.”