Campus residence halls expect power outage, most student services closed

Rachael Garner/File

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Many UC Berkeley residence halls will be without power and student services will be closed due to the PG&E power shutdown, according to a campuswide email sent this morning.

Elevators may not be in service during this time — if residents have any accessibility concerns, Resident Directors are available to help, according to the email. If a residence building is not affected because of a power generator, campus officials encourage residents to be aware of their power usage to ensure the generator lasts.

A second campuswide email sent about an hour after the first tells faculty, staff, and students to avoid campus unless told otherwise by their dean or supervisor. The email warns that the campus’ emergency power may fail if too many functions are being used.

Many buildings may have lights on or appear to be otherwise functional, but the email warns that this is because of partial energization from temporary battery back-up, backup generators or Berkeley’s small co-generation power facility — because of this, the buildings cannot sustain normal campus operations, including classes.

“During the shutdown, use of energy in non-residential buildings on campus could trip the co-generation facility, in particular, and lead to de-energizing life safety systems that are a priority and in place to help minimize risks to people and facilities,” the second email reads.

An email sent by the Residence Hall Association to students living in the residence halls confirmed that all residence halls have been affected by the outage, except Clark Kerr Campus, Beverly Cleary Hall, Jackson House, Manville Apartments, David Blackwell Hall and the campus’ leased buildings.

The first campuswide email specified that Non-Resident Hall DSP students should contact the Disabled Student Program for accessibility and medical issues.

Most student services will be closed today, including Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, Cal Student Central,Office of the Registrar, Cal 1 Card, Center for Student Conduct, Student Legal Services, Ombuds for Students and Postdocs, Graduate Division, Graduate Diversity Program, ASUC Student Union, Student Learning Center, LEAD Center, Public Service Center, Student Environmental Resource Center, Recreational Sports Facility, Multicultural and Gender Equity Student Development Offices and Resource Centers, Office of Undergraduate Admissions and New Student Services, Center for Educational Partnerships, according to the first campuswide email.

The first email also says that while the physical locations of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Office, Dean of Students Office, Center for Support & Intervention, Disabled Students’ Program and the PATH to Care Center will be closed, these services will offer emergency services.

Cafe 3, Crossroads, Clark Kerr Campus and The Den are expected to operate during the outage — however, Foothill Dining Hall, Golden Bear Cafe, Brown’s Coffee, Pro Shop, Common Grounds and Terrace Cafe will be closed, according to the first campuswide email.

While the second email warns the campus community to not enter any buildings, it said the exception is for student dining halls, which are being operated under shelter-in-place conditions.

Campus officials are in contact with PG&E and will make an announcement about the restoration of power later in the day, according to the second campuswide email, which notes that the original weather concerns have passed. Before PG&E can restore power, however, it must check its power lines; despite this, according to the second email, PG&E plans to begin restoring power Thursday.

“It is our assumption, at this time, that classes and operations will resume on Friday, provided that power is restored,” the second email said. “However, we will not make that decision until power is actually restored.”

Contact Julie Madsen and Sakura Cannestra at [email protected].