Students across campus were without internet and electricity on Monday afternoon. The power went off at 14.20 and was restored at 17.00. The University has confirmed the chaos was due “to a cable being inadvertently severed during construction work” and that “the emergency lighting and fire detection/alarm system remained in operation throughout.”
Disruptions affected Derwent, James, Vanbrugh, Halifax and Langwith Colleges. The University library lost its internet connection and Heslington Hall was also without power or internet.
The power cut also affected the Yorkshare VLE and York webmail, which were unavailable even from off campus. Other central University IT systems were also hit, rendering campus computers useless even in colleges where the power stayed on.
Lectures in Derwent and Langwith College were evacuated by students, as was the Courtyard bar, where customers were informed they would receive refunds for their food. Electricity returned to Derwent and Langwith college and the internet was restored across campus around five o’clock in the afternoon.
The lack of internet caused distress, particularly for those with essay deadlines. Lucinda Smyth, an English Literature first year student from Vanbrugh College, had her internet restored after three hours. Smyth expressed her frustration, deploring the lack of connection as a “despicable disgrace” and that waiting for Google had been “like waiting for Godot.”
Students in Derwent College were provided with mince pies and tea from catering staff, amidst fears they would be unable to serve residents their evening meal, which in the end they were. Derwent’s college administrator told Nouse she believed the situation “was dealt with as rapidly as was possible under the circumstances.”