By Caroline Ryan & Jada Butler
Editor-in-Chief, News Editor
At 6:57 a.m. on a rainy Monday morning, Oct. 30, an announcement was sent via email and text message to students and faculty notifying them that all Monday classes would be cancelled. According to the notice, “due to a power outage, all classes at LIU Post are cancelled for today, Monday, October 30. Faculty and administrative offices are closed. For Tilles Center call 516-299- 3100. Library closed.” Many parts of Long Island had lost power due to the heavy rains and winds throughout the night on Sunday.
The university sent a second email, an hour later, to inform students what services would be open on campus. “Public Safety, Facilities, Dining, and Campus Life staff are fully prepared to service the campus throughout the outage,” the email said. The shuttle bus service to Hicksville was operating on a regular schedule. However, the only available dining option for students was Winnick Student Center, which operated on an extended schedule from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Campus Life staff held activities to keep students occupied during the day, including bingo and Monday night football in the Winnick Student Center Gold Coast room. Members of the campus life staff and resident assistants were available in the residence hall lobbies throughout the day.
Michael Berthel, dean of students, confirmed the buildings affected by the power outage. “On Oct. 30, several buildings on the LIU Post campus were affected by a power outage due to an off-campus issue. As a result of the outage, most academic buildings, the Pratt Recreation Center, Library, and Hillwood Commons were operating on emergency power,” he wrote in an email responding to the Pioneer’s inquiries. “LIU Post Facilities coordinated with PSEG to address the issue and return power to the campus. Without being able to open essential buildings, the decision was made to cancel classes for the day,” he said.
Sam Scarito, a freshman early childhood education major, lives on campus. “The power outage was pretty inconvenient for me. Post Hall was out for the majority of the night, and people were in the hallways doing their homework.
I wasn’t able to set an alarm and I honestly wondered if I’d wakeup for class or not,” she said. Notification of the school closure was sent via text message and email at 6:57 a.m., when many commuter students and professors were already on their way to their 8 a.m. classes. Jamie Leigh, a senior forensic science major, was driving to her 8 a.m. class when she got the notification. “I usually do not check my phone while I am driving but I had my phone propped on my dashboard while using a navigation app. I feel like this happens all the time. The school should know a significant amount of students commute to school and should have taken into consideration how far some students commute. One hour before the first set of classes is not enough time to notify students,” Leigh said. Freshman accounting major Amanda Norton was an hour into her commute to school. “I think they should’ve sent that message earlier. It’s dumb to wait until 7 a.m. when there [are] commuters with early classes who are already on the road. I wasted my time and gas,” she said.
Michael Semler, a junior international business major also leaves early in the morning to get to classes on time but feels that this power outage could have been prevented. “[The university] should make sure that anything at risk, like equipment servers, [are] secured and contingencies should be in place when equipment fails,” he said.
The Pioneer has previously reported on hurricane preparedness. In “Storm Preparedness In the Wake of Hurricane Nate,” By Jada Butler in the Oct. 10 issue, the Pioneer reported that many buildings on campus are equipped with backup generators in the event of a power outage. “Several buildings on campus are equipped with backup generators in the case of a power outage, those being Pell, Hoxie, Roth and Kahn Halls, Humanities, the Winnick and McGrath Houses, Hillwood Commons, the Pratt Recreation Center, the Little Theater and Theater & Film building, the Tilles Center, the library, and all in-use residence halls,” according to the Oct. 10 article. “All other buildings, including the Chapel, the music and sculpture buildings, the Fine Arts Center, and Lorber Hall are equipped with backup emergency lighting.”
According to Berthel, the outage was not caused by an on-campus issue. PSEG, the electric provider for Long Island, was responsible for repairing the power lines to restore power to campus. Power was restored at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 30. Classes resumed on Tuesday, Oct. 31 on a regular Tuesday schedule. Students have not received any notification about whether the Monday classes will be made up.