July 14, 2020
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Power outage outs students’ dining options

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From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., a power outage makes cooking food at 91.3 Wok impossible. (Peter Fiorilla / News Editor)

Most of the campus suffered a power outage starting at 12 p.m. today due to a blown fuse, according to Eickhoff supervisor Steve Gallagher, and the affected facilities included the Atrium at Eickhoff and the Lions Den during the brunt of meal equiv.

Dining options on campus became limited  as a result: Preparing new food was impossible, and some students couldn’t get into the Atrium.

“I thought Eick would be open by the time I got there in the afternoon, so I was annoyed that the workers told me told to go somewhere else for lunch,” Rose LoPiano, freshman biomedical engineering major, said. “My friends and I went to the Lions Den, only to realize that it was closed as well. By the time we went to the Education Cafe and waited on line, meal equiv was already over, they ran out of turkey wraps, and I wasted a good part of my afternoon searching for food.”

Students that did get into Eickhoff had limited options, as the overhead blowers — which remove fumes from the kitchens, making it safe to cook — and dish machines stopped working altogether, according to  Gallagher.

“Once those are done, we’re dead,” Gallagher said. “All of a sudden a couple thousand people are hungry, and it’s controlled chaos.”

The Atrium served the food that was already cooked, but stations such as the Omelette Bar, C-Street Grill and 91.3 Wok were temporarily shut down, with the latter re-opening at around 5 p.m. according to Gallagher. No food was wasted or spoiled.

The electrical problem was solved at around 1:30 with the help of PSE&G, according to the College’s twitter account, at the very end of meal equiv — disrupting many students’ lunch plans.

“I think it would be a nice gesture for TCNJ to reimburse some students who were unable to use their meal equiv today,” LoPiano said.

The electrical problem affected nearly all residencies, a handful of academic buildings, the Spiritual Center, Packer Hall, parking garages, athletic fields and the Rec Center.

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