Black out, phones out: University keeps busy during power outage

Story by Brianna Willis, Staff writer

A county-wide power outage occurred, canceling events and classes at 2:30 p.m. March 31. According to the Murray Electric System Facebook page, lightning struck a main substation, cutting off power for Murray and Calloway County. For some, playing games was how they handled the loss of power. For others, life carried on as they had sports practice or homework to do.


Katerina Sparks, junior from Haubstadt, Indiana, was in the Thoroughbred Room when the power went out.

“I freaked out because I don’t do storms,” Sparks said. “So when the lights went out, I sort of died inside.”

Sparks said it was a weird experience seeing everything shut down. She said they were asked to leave because of safety reasons. Sparks said she noticed the backup lights were on, but it was still very dark.

“A lot of stuff just wasn’t working right,” she said. “It was really weird because if I didn’t have my phone, I would’ve thought it was the Stone Age.”

For many students, technology is a good way to pass the time. From Snapchat to Twitter, there are lots of outlets to stay occupied on the Internet. However, Sparks opted out of these common millennial activities for more hands-on activities.

“I’m a big fan of board games and anything [with] cards,” Sparks said. “When things shut down, people just sit and get on their phones, but going outside and getting active or playing a game is more fun.”

Sparks said she and a friend went to Elizabeth College and they had puzzles sitting out, which she enjoyed.


Shelby Haworth, sophomore from Naples, Florida, said she was at home getting ready for soccer practice when the power outage occurred.

“I had seen the storm brewing so I don’t think I was very surprised,” she said. “We lost all of our power though, so we opened all of the windows and doors to let the light in.”

Haworth said she had practice about 15 minutes after the power went out.

“I got to the soccer field and it was still light outside, but the locker room had no power,” she said. “It has no windows, so it was pretty hard to get dressed.”

Haworth said thankfully it was still light outside so practice could continue as normal. Her piece of advice to students was to make sure they had something edible on hand that requires less effort than cooking on the stove.

“When I got home from practice, there was still another 30 to 40 minutes where the power was out so we couldn’t really make dinner,” she said. “I would recommend others have food they can eat that doesn’t require electricity.”


Evan Ditty, Coordinator of Greek Life and Student Leadership Programs, said he was in his office doing work when everything shut down.

“I was actually in the middle of finishing up some details for the All Greek Assembly that night when the computers went off,” he said.

The decision to cancel All Greek Assembly was made shortly after classes and many on-campus events were canceled as well. However, shortly after all of the tweets and emails had been sent out to notify the student body of these closures, Ditty said the power came back on.

They chose to keep the event canceled and reschedule it for April 27 in Lovett Auditorium.

“It was just easier to maintain the cancellation than to try and resend emails and phone calls saying ‘just kidding,’” he said. “Luckily, Lovett was available for the evening of April 27.”