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Sunday, March 03, 2024
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Horns up, Wi-Fi down

Power outages plague UB’s North Campus

<p>Students walk through a hallway in Greiner Hall during a blackout.</p>

Students walk through a hallway in Greiner Hall during a blackout.

Bridget Sharp was overly prepared for her biology exam on Sept. 22. She studied the entire week leading to her test and was confident she’d pass.

Although she was equipped, UB’s campus wasn’t. When Sharp arrived at her class, her professor announced that due to Wi-Fi related issues, the exam would be postponed.

“I was pretty pissed,” Sharp, a junior human services major, said. “I put a lot of time and effort into preparing for my exam.”

That incident was just one of several irregular power outages and electrical issues that have plagued UB’s North Campus over the last few months.

Jeff Angiel, UB director of facilities and operations, told The Spectrum that these outages are a result of “high-voltage electrical equipment failures” and “interruptions to National Grid provided power.” One was even caused by an “unlucky raven” that came into contact with two electrical conductors concurrently.

The short power outage from Sept. 22 that delayed Sharp’s biology exam actually had a lasting effect on UB’s IT infrastructure, Angiel says. IT workers had to manually restart hundreds of IT systems across UB’s campus.

While Angiel says that power was restored before most students arrived on campus that morning, outages continued into the afternoon. 

Part of UB’s plan to increase the reliability of North Campus’ power distribution is the “aggressively funded” Capital Improvement Program. Angiel says that this plan consists of completing $15 million worth of electrical infrastructure upgrades that started five years ago.

There isn’t an exact timeline for when UB will finish the upgrades or when the outages will stop.

“UB Facilities Operations is dedicated to responding quickly and communicating accurately when these events occur, and is working diligently to increase the reliability and resiliency of our on-campus power distribution systems for the future of our institution,” Angiel said in a statement.

Kayla Estrada is a senior news editor and can be reached at 

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Kayla Estrada is the opinion editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.  



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