The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Warning: may need better warning system

The spring storm that hit Poweshiek County on Tuesday left trees fallen, debris scattered, athletes injured and an entire college campus without power. When the campus was left running on only emergency generator power, students were left in the dark in more ways than one. First, while both a Tornado Watch and Warning were issued, they were sent out via e-mail—an asset unavailable to a community disconnected from the Internet, and dealing with dead laptops—and in some cases cell phone—batteries. Also unknown was the status of the next day’s classes, and so while some went to dire measures to study, others enjoyed a night of leisure (“Well, we wouldn’t want that milk to go bad…”). We would like to thankfully acknowledge that in anticipation of this, an e-mail was sent to professors asking them to be more lenient on students the following day given the circumstances.

Still, it remains clear that a better form of communication could greatly ease the minds of students, faculty and staff in the event of similar future circumstances. The already established text message service, though a good idea, clearly went widely unused, and in times of a power outage a solution completely non-reliant upon electricity seems more sensible. A select number of predetermined locations could have bulletins posted with information regarding weather, classes and any other critical information. Additionally, a more clear protocol regarding classes could be constructed and could be adjusted based on whether a professor requires electricity for their lesson or whether the room will have enough natural light, with back up rooms planned for those lacking illumination. Though power outages are rare on campus, we should still be thoroughly prepared for one, especially as more severe dangers may arise during that time of vulnerability.

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