Lee Hall Experiences Power Outages

Lee Hall, the colleges’ newest residence hall, has experienced several brief power outages since students returned for the spring semester. These outages, while very brief in nature, have left many students within the building confused as to why they continue to happen.

The reason as to why this building in particular is losing power is unknown.

The college has no control over the distribution of power to each of its buildings, and therefore has no control over any problems that may arise on the distribution end. Consolidated Edison is the power distributor for the campus.

Richard McKeown, director of physical plant at Manhattan College, states that there have been no reports of any recent long term power outages within Lee Hall. The causation of any brief outages may be linked to overloading circuits.

“We do get calls from students who have lost power, due mostly to overloading a circuit. Having too many devices plugged into a power strip is usually the reason,” stated McKeown.

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Lee Hall Residents Michael Nyman (left) and Daniel Sultana (right) experienced an unusual power outage on Feb. 21. MATTHEW STAHL/COURTESY

Many students within the building have complained that these outages have affected their electronics while plugged in.

“The power outages have been super inconvenient because each time they happen they cause certain devices that are plugged in in my room to surge, like my XBox. I have to reset them everytime. It also causes trouble with my TV, not turning on properly.” stated James Sloate, a freshman living on the 5th floor of the building.

Sloate recalls the most recent time he recalls the power going out.

“The most recent time I can remember the power going out was Feb. 11. I was hanging out with some friends and then we lost power for about 30 seconds. It came back on, and luckily that time, nothing surged and all I had to reset was the clock on the microwave.”

In rooms 618 and 619 of Lee Hall, four suitemates experienced an unusual power outage. Dan Derocher, Matthew Stahl, Michael Nyman, and Daniel Sultana, four sophomores in the building reported that power was only lost in one of the two bedrooms of their suite.

“In room 618 the power was out for about 10 minutes, whereas in 619, the lights flickered but the power stayed on,” said Derocher.

This is the third outage the suite has experienced this semester. In addition to the power going out, it was also reported that the Internet was down for an additional 5-10 minutes after the power returned. All four of these students have surge protectors, so no electronics were damaged. But, all four also have desktop computers, and lose their schoolwork if a power outage occurs before their work can be saved.

While most outages that students have reported have occurred during the day, other students are aware of outages that occur while sleeping at night due to the sound of the building’s generator kicking in.

“I like to sleep with my window open, and when the power goes out in Lee, I’ll wake up to a loud noise coming from outside. I recently learned that it was the generator that kicks in, and it just gets annoying when we lose power,” stated freshman Allison Powers, who resides on the 5th floor.

The generator that kicks in supports supports the functioning of a few necessities within the building, as it is intended to function only until power is restored.

“Lee Hall has a backup generator which will run if the building loses power, however service is limited to life safety equipment such as fire alarm systems, fire pumps, stair and hallway lighting. The generator also carries the load to operate one elevator,” stated McKeown.

McKeown added that the building relied on this backup generator for eleven days until Consolidated Edison was able to restore power when Superstorm Sandy hit New York City.

It is recommended that students limit the amount of plugs used per power strip, as it could contribute to future outages. Students should also contact physical plant if an outage occurs for an extended period of time.