Rather than cool air being pumped into the Wattis Business Building, a power outage on Sunday knocked out the building’s compressor, and hot air filled the top floor. The rise in temperature caused two Weber State University students to pass out Monday morning, resulting in a call to the paramedics and a trip to the Health Center on campus.
Jeff Steagall, dean of the Goddard School of Business and Economics, said the temperature of the building reached more than 90 degrees. He said WSU Facilities Management was responsive, coming over to address the problem before he even arrived Monday morning at 7 a.m.
“We called the guys over and eventually they turned the heat off, and we just propped open every door and window we could get,” Steagall said. “(We) got all our fans sucking air in some areas, blowing it out in other areas.”
According to Sebastian Anderson, mechanical superintendent, the power outage on Sunday caused a transformer to blow, and most of Sunday was spent trying to get everything back online and fixed.
“A few things slipped through the cracks,” Anderson said, “and once the electricians were able to get that reset, we were able to bring our systems back online.”
Although the power outage affected all of campus, students shouldn’t be alarmed if the power goes out during class. According to Anderson, the power doesn’t go out too often, and a generator will kick in and provide lighting for students to exit the building. A generator services each building.
“We’re still trying to address issues associated directly with the power outage today,” Anderson said. “We’re still trying to get issues resolved.”
Andrew Gardiner, the president of the WSU Student Association, is the brother of Morgan Gardiner, the freshman student who passed out in the Wattis Building. He took his sister to the Health Center on campus, and said she is feeling fine. The Health Center takes the place of a clinic, and is staffed by doctors who can provide prescriptions at low prices and basic checkups for free because of student fees.
Gardiner said he has tried to talk to the people who have stewardship over those areas to make sure that, in the future, students don’t have to go to class when buildings are too hot.
“I honestly don’t think that they should be put in a situation that’s unsafe because they have to learn the material,” Gardiner said. “I just hope that, in the future, we can do as much as possible to prevent that from happening. It’s one thing for (equipment) to go out — like, that’s just life, things happen — but then the issue I see is that students shouldn’t have to sit through a class if it’s that hot.”
Gardiner said he believes proper notification to students through text-messaging services like Code Purple or even a note on the door can prevent the situation from happening again. He said he hopes classes will be moved, postponed or even canceled to avoid harmful environments for students.
“It’s hard to focus on the lecture when it’s too hot or too cold,” he said. “All I know is that it’s too hot for a learning environment.”