“If you think we’re crazy over the last few days, just keep in mind that we’ve kind of been homeless.”
As classes resume, as many (though far from all) campus houses light up with full power, and as we return to what President Roth calls “the normal rhythms of our educational mission,” one group of increasingly manic refugees continues bearing the aftereffects of the storm, living on the boundaries of sanity and shelter in the Clark Lounge.
They are the residents of 200 Church—the lively group of freshmen forcefully evacuated from their house on Tuesday afternoon—and they’ve been occupying the dorm lounge ever since, sleeping on couches and floors, 10 or 15 to a room. “I used to think it was great that all of my friends are in 200 Church, living in my house,” one resident told me. “But now it’s a problem. Because I have nowhere else to go.”
BZOD and I stopped by Camp TwoHo last night during our late-night drive through campus to investigate where power has (and has not) been restored. It’s a surreal scene. Students are red-eyed, exhausted, trying to remain positive. Clothes, laptops, food wrappers, banana peels are strewn indiscriminately throughout the living space. Conversations descend into manic laughter. Bitterness pervades the room as the surrounding campus returns to normalcy. So this is what “alternative housing” looks like. When will these frosh get to go home?
Hey folks! Lights are popping on all around campus, including the peripheries. As of now, I know for certain that Buddhist House, Fountain, and Pine are lit up – and have heard that a number of other locations also have power. This post will be updated with specific locations as more news rolls in.
BZOD EDIT, 5:03 AM: By the way, if you didn’t see it yet, Zach added a gallery of photos from our adventures around campus. Check it out!
BZOD EDIT, 11:31 PM: Zach and I have finished our drive, and we’re currently interviewing refugees from 200 Church. Here’s the full update on power though, past the jump:
Another update: power (but not internet) restored to most dorms. It remains unclear whether power will cut out again at 3am as previously scheduled.
The WSA has worked with Public Safety to ensure that SciLi will remain open all night long, and will NOT close at midnight as previously planned. Usdan will close at 2am as usual.
Public Safety will be personally staffing SciLi tonight, so if you see them, stop and say thanks for putting in the extra effort. Everyone could use a little good cheer at the moment.
For those still without power, now may be the perfect time to finally work on those visualization skills...
With promises to update the student body again tomorrow evening–barring any unforeseen events in the interim–Rothocalypse writes again to assuage the less-gruntled members of the student body.
Fear not, fellow WesKids, the administration has heard (some of) your cries! Acknowledging that these “are not ideal conditions for resuming coursework,” Rothocalypse makes a convincing point: “having classes, even when assignments are not completed, is preferable to not having classes.”
Take a deep breath everyone, trust that the administration and your professors are (contrary to some popular belief) working in your best interests and trying as best they can to get back to business as usual, and start wondering if the fact that “city businesses [have] started serving customers”–as reported by the Patch–means that Titanium/The Nest will be open tomorrow.
Full text of the latest email after the jump.
Apparently Hewitt just lost electricity again, although other areas of campus are still powered. Word on the street* is that the university is gradually switching from its own generators to Middletown power, so this is expected to happen. Power should return to these places by tonight.
Post in the comments if you lose power or have any other related updates.
(*actually from much more legitimate sources that I cannot specify)
UPDATE 3:01PM: There is actually some contradictory information out there as well, but it a call to Physical Plant reveals that they are trying to address any problems.
It appears that our previous post was a bit too optimistic… given the disappointing nature of the “latest update from Connecticut Light and Power” (via Rothocalypse), classes will be CANCELED tomorrow(!) Accordingly, “food will be available for students who remain on campus, and the Science Library will remain open as a shelter.”
And so the saga continues… we will continue to update as events warrant. Full text of all-campus email follows after the jump.
Woohoo! ...sorry, buddy.
It appears that the beginning of the end is near. Rothocalypse brings us the inside scoop on our tribulations thus far, and the promise of classes tomorrow.
And here I was, just settling into the warmth and comfort of a rival library in New Haven…
Without further ado, the update from the man himself:
As you probably know, the weekend’s snowstorm has wrecked havoc with many of the power systems of the region. In particular, the Connecticut Light and Power electrical grid has sustained unprecedented damage, and the Middletown area has been without electricity since Sunday afternoon. This has left Wesleyan without power in the central campus area for the first time in memory. We have backup systems for emergency lighting and for our servers, which have functioned properly. Medical services are available at Middlesex Hospital, and Public Safety is available to any students in need of assistance. We have provided a shelter area at the Science Library and have been serving meals at the Usdan University Center. Sandwiches will be available at Usdan today from 2 to 4 pm, and we will provide further information about meals pending restoration of power.
We are working with local officials and our own engineers and are hopeful that power will be restored to the central campus area sometime this evening. This will happen in stages, and there likely will be interruptions — a normal part of the process. Supplying electricity to the wood frame houses and the surrounding area will take longer, and we will send information in this regard (including places on campus where students may stay) in the next 24 hours.
We do anticipate that classes will be held Tuesday.
The aftermath of the storm has been challenging, and I am grateful to the staff, faculty and students who are all pulling together.
Michael S. Roth
The power might be out here at Wesleyan University but Wesleying is still here. Neither rain not snow nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from swift completion of their appointed rounds.