Kilachand Hall and several Bay State Road brownstones experienced major power outages on Wednesday.
Katherine Cornetta, assistant to the Dean of Students, said the university was not aware that the power outages were going to happen, and they occurred because of construction going on near the area that was not affiliated with the university.
“I think a lot of the outages have to do with construction work that has been going on around Commonwealth Avenue, not connected to any projects of the university,” Cornetta said. “It’s not something we were aware of. If there’s a planned power outage … be it a residential or academic building, if they know they have to turn it off, the utility or construction company will inform the university and the university will inform the people in that building.”
She said the university has since taken action to better prevent further power outages.
“Thursday night until Friday, the university took some steps to keep them from happening moving forward, some utilities work to make sure they didn’t happen again,” Cornetta said.
Boston University spokesperson Colin Riley said BU has a close relationship with the electricity company, Eversource, and is working with them to fix these issues.
“We work really closely with [Eversource] and that means we need to address the needs of the residents and the buildings that were affected. It certainly made it a challenge when there were long-term outages. There have been intermittent outages as well,” Riley said.
Several students from the affected residences, however, said the university should have done more.
Loren McCullough, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the power outage was very disruptive and that although the university might not have known the outage was going to happen, she had heard from another student that after power was regained, BU knew that the water in the residences would remain cold for a couple of days.
“We [didn’t] have hot water for a few days after. A friend of mine complained about it and was informed that they had known about it beforehand, but hadn’t told anyone. So just a little heads up would have helped,” McCullough said.
Lucy Stowe, a freshman in CAS, echoed McCullough’s reaction.
“I definitely think [the administration] could have sent us a notice. I didn’t get anything so I thought no one was doing anything,” Stowe said.
Stowe also complained about the lack of hot water.
“I didn’t have hot water for three days and I showered in the cold,” Stone said. “I got back from working out, and it was painful to shower.”
Phoebe Bobola, a freshman in the College of General Studies, said she was able to get work done, but the temperature of the rooms and water were difficult to deal with.
“The water was really cold for a while, so that sucked,” Bobola said. “Luckily the Wi-Fi still worked so I could get stuff done, but everything else was kinda cold. The rooms were cold.”
Bobola said acknowledgment from BU would have helped.
“I want to be optimistic and hope they were getting on that as soon as they could,” Bobola said. “I don’t know what else they could have done other than informing the students about what was going on and updating them on why it’s happening and that they were working on it.”
Some students said they were not as concerned by the power outages.
Naelle Zephir, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said the outage affected her, just not directly.
“It didn’t really affect me, but everything in the fridge went bad,” Zephir said. “[The power outages] are really annoying because I will wake up and all my devices were dead and the fridge was wonky. The hot water was not on at all for at least three days.”
Bayley Connors, a freshman in CAS, agreed it did not affect his daily routine, other than the lack of hot water.
“When the storm hit, we had a series of power outages,” said Connors. “It was kind of off and on for the course of the day … It hasn’t been a problem since, but the water has been a bit of an issue. It’s definitely more spotty and not hot. It doesn’t affect my day too much to be honest. If I have class here, it does. So there’s no power and it affects the class organization. It’s a winter storm, you have to take it as it comes.”
Colleen Regan, a senior in the Questrom School of Business, said she was studying in Kilachand when the power went out, and had to leave because her laptop was dying.
“People were visibly mad when the power went out, and said that it happens all the time here,” Regan said. “Maybe BU should send out an email [letting students know] … I would have just gone somewhere else though.”