On March 17 the campus was buzzing with energy and excitement. Students filed out of their night classes and proceeded into a mass exodus. All across campus the same thing could be heard, ‘Hey did you get the Norse Alert? Classes are canceled.’
For the third time this semester classes, were canceled on a Tuesday night. Equipment failure knocked out power to six buildings on campus and the administration made the decision to close down the campus.
‘We felt it was better to error on the side of good judgment,’ said Larry Blake, assistant vice president of Facilities Management.
At 5:08 p.m. the Central Campbell County Fire Department was dispatched to the university due to a report of smoke in a building. When the main feeder cable from the substation located next to University Suites failed, the backup generators kicked in supplying power to the campus. The smoke was caused by the diesel generators in BEP turning on.
Upon arriving at campus they met with Blake, were notified of the power issue and began evacuating buildings. Three students were trapped inside elevators on campus, one in the University Center and two in the Fine Arts building. ‘ ‘
By 6 p.m. the decision to shut down the campus was made and Harold Todd, director of Public Safety(DPS), set into motion the Norse Alert system. Due to the massive influx of traffic, DPS shifted personal from the building evacuations to directing traffic flow.
According to Blake the Administration, Fine Arts, Science, BEP, ASNT and University Center buildings lost power. The main feeder cable that was faulty ran from the substation and ran into the Administration building. Currently the campus is running on the auxiliary power while contractors begin work on cable.
For the students who have now missed three Tuesday night classes this semester there is no individual plan to rectify the situation. According to Christopher Cole, director of communications, it is up to the individual departments and faculty members to ensure that the learning outcomes for the course syllabuses are achieved.
‘There are many methods for doing so, and we leave this to their discretion, with the understanding that NKU fully expects such learning out comes to be achieved,’ said Cole.