Shepherd University cancels classes from noon until 4 p.m. on Monday due to a campus wide power outage.

Shepherd students react to campus wide power outage

(THE PICKET) – Monday afternoon classes on the east side of Shepherd University were cancelled when a power pole was damaged and power was out for about three hours.

Classes on the west side of campus and in Martinsburg were not interrupted.

Rave alerts were sent to students early Monday advising students to avoid pedestrian and vehicular use on High Street between Duke and King streets due to down power lines.

“I was in Knutti in English class. We were like, ‘What’s going on,’” said Kaileigh Bowers, 18, a freshman early education major. “We were taken aback by [the power outage] and left class early.”

Classes from noon to 4 p.m. were cancelled, and according to a 2:11 p.m. Rave alert, power had been restored. The lights went out a little after 11 a.m. Some noon classes continued to meet as the announcement of the cancellation did not go out until 1:05 p.m. Pedestrians and vehicles were asked to avoid traffic on High Street between Duke and King Streets while the downed line was repaired.

Shelby and Abby, both graphic design majors, and Katie, a drawing and painting major, were in their visual thinking class when the power died. Mike Mendez, their professor, continued teaching despite the darkness, as he was in the middle of a presentation on items that visually represent a person.

“It was funny because he held up a cigarette, but nobody could tell what it was,” said Abby.

Christen 19, a freshmen and elementary education major, said she was in the Ram’s Den when the power flashed on and off, then quit.

“We’ve basically been walking around trying to figure out if we have classes. Our professor can’t email us right now,” she said.

Makayla Beam, 19, a freshman history major, said the outage didn’t affect her 11 a.m. class.

 “I was in class and the projector my professor was using went out. The professor just started using the white board and kept teaching,” she said.

The same thing happened in Meaghan Papeika’s class.

 “I was sitting in class and the professor kept lecturing like normal didn’t even pause,” said the 21-year-old double major in history and English.

Holly Nelson, 18, a freshman psychology major, said she was in class in Knutti when the power died.

“I freaked out but everyone else was fine; I heard the explosion because we were so close. Our class continued all the way through,” she said

Students in the Rams Den seemed a little disoriented by the outage, but for the most part, their plans for the day were unaffected.

“I’ll probably just hang out here, study a little bit,” said Derek Metz, a sophomore political science major, whose political theory class in White Hall continued without a hitch when the power died.

Most students figured they would still have class as usual. “I have a physics lab later, but I think we’re still gonna have it because we’re not using technology for it,” said Heather, a junior biology major.

“I was in Ram’s Den, getting food,” said Sneha Reddy, 19, a sophomore biology major. “I was kind of confused and I didn’t know what to do, so I checked my phone, the wi-fi was gone, and then I went back in and then tried to pay for my food but they just said to come back later and pay,” she said. “I’m hoping that our classes get cancelled, but I’m also kind of nervous because I really need wi-fi to do homework.” She also said she liked the excitement of the power going out on a gloomy Monday.

The Shepherdstown Police Department responds to Knutti Hall after a professor gets stuck in an elevator during a power outage.

Victoria Ford, 18, a freshmen secondary education social studies major, said, “I was in Whitehall waiting [for class]. I didn’t hear the crash but I thought [the power] would come back on. I was waiting for more information before class; some people were definitely happy while a guy on crutches wasn’t.”

Jasmin Tharakan, 20, a biology major and senior, said she was in the library when the lights went out.

“The lights kind of flickered but the flood light stayed on, so it didn’t bother us–we used our phone flashlights, too,” she said. “I heard about the explosion after the session. I think it adds something to your day when the power goes out.

“I was just like, oh God, what’s happening?” said Alex McCarran, 19, a freshman English education major. She said she was apprehensive when the power went out.

Hayley Cramer, 19, a freshman early education major, was able to leave her English class early when the power went out. “I was going to wait for bio,” she said, “but I’m probably just going to leave.”

Alex Mulligan, 19, a freshman secondary education major, said his professor tried to continue teaching after the power went out, but soon stopped. “I told the power to stay off,” he said, in hopes the rest of his classes would be cancelled.

Dr. Francois Mulligan, a math professor, was meeting with a student in her office when the power went out. “It’s like a vacation,” she said, “It’s, like, yay, we’re not on the Internet.”



The Picket staff writers Pandora Affemann, Luis Neer, Brandon Dye, Paige Conrad, Thomas Girod, Mattea Hastings, Jessica Sharpless and Ed Smith contributed to this report.

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