On campus ‘blackout’ taken in stride

By on November 24, 2013

What started off as a few flickering lights turned into complete darkness and initial chaos for residents of UAB’s Camp, Blazer, and Denman Halls on the 19th, when the power unexpectedly shut off. The exclusively upperclassmen dorms, Rast Hall and Blount Hall, remained intact.

The power outage began around 10:30 pm on Tuesday night and ended around midnight when maintenance staff was finally able to restore the power.

Many students were frustrated by the timing of the outage, as it caught them in the middle of showering, studying, or even doing laundry. Others who were asleep were awoken by screams of confused residents.

“I was in the laundry room on the first floor drying my clothes when the power went out. Not only were my clothes still wet, but I had to walk up seven flights of stairs to my room with them,” said Courtney Walker, Blazer Hall resident.

Despite the initial inconveniences of the blackout, residents made the most out of the experience. Students congregated in the dorm hallways where several generator-powered emergency lights were in operation. A newfound sense of community emerged among residents as many of them interacted with their fellow floormates for the first time. Several residents listened to music and played card games, and some eighth floor Blazer Hall residents attached a small basketball hoop to the back of a chair and shot baskets while sitting in the hallway.

“Our entire floor sat in the hallway together and I played guitar. We also played card games like Texas Hold ‘Em and poker,” said Hriday Bhambhvani, Camp Hall resident.

The dorms’ Resident Assistants were on hand to respond to residents’ many questions, to assure them that maintenance was working on restoring power, and to warn them against riding the elevators that were still functional.

“Of course my phone was blowing up with residents asking: “What is happening?”, “Are your lights out?”, and “What did you do, Zach?” said Zachery Mashburn, one of Blazer Hall’s 8th floor Resident Assistants, who later joined in on the fun. “Of course there was screaming when the lights cut off, but it turned out to be a fun night. My residents and residents from other floors played Cards Against Humanity and hung out in the hallways until the lights came back on.”

Social media also responded promptly to the situation. Students posted countless Facebook statuses and humorous tweets with the hashtag #UABBlackout2013 expressing their experiences with the power outage.

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