Light outage casts Dietler Commons in darkness

Last Sunday, the University of Tulsa Main Campus experienced light outages. The lights by Sorority Row, Sharp Chapel, Bayless Plaza, near the Allen Chapman Student Union, in the West Residential parking lot off of Delaware and more went dark a few hours after sunset.

Manager of Electrical and Special Services for Physical Plant Roy Ackley says that the “server lost communication with the devices in the buildings because of a network setting” and was fixed by the next morning. He says that “If there were to be another large problem needing immediate attention like this last occurrence, please … call Campus Security. They will in turn contact the duty engineer.”

There are two ways lighting is controlled on campus: a photocell, which is used for local control of buildings (like outlying buildings) and network control, which is what Physical Plant uses for most of campus. Physical Plant has “a sensor that quantifies the amount of light,“ Ackley said, adding, “At a preset point, it sends a signal out through [the] Energy Management System (over the network) to turn the lights on or off.”

However, when there are issues with these networks and their lights, there is an operating engineer on campus 24 hours a day, Ackley says. Either the engineer will see the problem, or Campus Security will call to inform an engineer. The engineer can manually turn on the lights from Physical Plant, as there are manual switches independent of the control system that can be used to fix the problem.

However, Ackley also noted that, should students find anything more minor than mass light outages, like a singular light, students can and should still report it. Students can submit these requests through the iService desk, which are linked through CaneLink. Students can go to the “Campus Housing” tab, then clicking the “Request Maintenance” button. Students can also go directly to the URL: Requests are viewed in the morning and distributed to Physical Plant workers for repair.

Post Author: Raven Fawcett