Over the past few weeks, brief interruptions in the electrical power have been reported on and around campus. While these power outages have been very short, lasting no longer than a minute or so, students are still frustrated with the inconvenience caused by the disturbances. 

The College has yet to formally address this issue; however, Jim Bolton, Director of Plant Operations, has commented that, “…these issues are all PPL [a local electric utility] related.”  

There is no apparent pattern as to when or where these mini-blackouts will occur; however, they have been consistent enough to temporarily impact students in their daily routine and obligations. Matthew Borrelli ‘23 explained how one of the short dim-outs affected his class. 

“There have been so many [power outages] this semester, and the lights have been flickering a lot more too…I don’t know why the school hasn’t said anything.”

“The actual power outage was very short, maybe 30 seconds at the most,” said Borrelli. “I was in the basement of Trumbower when it happened during my computer science class. All of the computers shut down for about five minutes. It definitely did impact the class, because it stopped the teaching…and paused everything.”

Martenia Morris ‘21 specifically remembered an instance during the evening of Oct. 6 when he was in GQ. 

“All the power went down for, like, five seconds, and then it went right back up.” 

Dalissa Duran ‘21 also shared her experiences with the power outages in her residence hall. 

“I live in Robertson Hall, and I’ve been in my room every time the power goes out. The lights flicker, and it lasts more than a couple seconds for me, probably, like, a minute or so. It usually turns right back on, and nothing usually happens after that,” explained Duran. “There have been so many [power outages] this semester, and the lights have been flickering a lot more too…I don’t know why the school hasn’t said anything.” 

Maybe even more inconvenient than the outages is the faulty WiFi that students, faculty and staff have had to work with around campus. People have complained that the WiFi has been especially slow at times in Seegers Union, the Center for the Arts and some residential buildings.

“The WiFi has been really bad, I can attest to that”

Jake Watzman ‘22 highlighted how this issue has hindered him from doing work on his computer. 

“The WiFi has been really bad, I can attest to that. I live in Taylor Hall…and there are so many times when I have to disconnect from the WiFi, because it just will not work,” said Watzman. “I just have to up my data. I don’t really have time to get up and go somewhere else, because I might be in a hurry to get work done.” 

The outages do not seem to be isolated on Muhlenberg’s campus, as surrounding neighborhoods have also dealt with the occasional power interruption.

“I live on Albright [Street], and the power outages happened everywhere,” said Celeste Samson ‘22, explaining the 10-minute outage she experienced last week.  “My neighbors, who are just people that live in the surrounding community, were also experiencing power outages; so, it might be an Allentown thing and not just something that’s happening here on campus.”

Photo editing by Karly McCloskey


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