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Campus came to life during the power outage
April 20, 2023
When the power went out across Carbondale April 13 around 8:20 p.m., campus began to teem with life.
Some students wandered out to Campus Lake where the stars had never been brighter, reflecting in the water uninterrupted by the usual street or dorm lights.
Others flocked to the nearest Veo scooters and rode in herds through the dark and empty streets.
But most on-campus students found themselves outside the East Campus towers, where a party quickly took form.
When the power, along with the air conditioning and fans, went out in the dorms, students grew tired of the thick, warm air of the towers, so many started to leave.
Someone posted on YikYak, an anonymous social media app, for everyone to meet up, and it didn’t take long for a group to assemble between Mae Smith and Schneider.
Using the headlights from police vehicles as the only source of light, people gathered, played music and formed a dance circle, and the atmosphere felt unmistakably happy.
Although the students were asked to move away from the towers, the party didn’t stop. Instead they moved to Logan Drive just outside of the dorms, where police blocked off the road.
Students came together from East and West Campus to make the best of the evening. There was laughter and excitement all around, and it became easy to forget the lack of power in the town; even the end-of-year fatigue seemed to disappear into the night.
Though there was no hum of air conditioning, no refrigerators purring or fans whirring, the night still buzzed with the clamor of students as they came together to celebrate in the silence and for a brief moment in time, forget the stresses of upcoming school projects and exams.
Then, as quickly as they gathered, the students dismantled with shouts of joy as the lights flickered back to life.
Everyone walked happily back up the hill to their dorms, and students from West Campus started toward the bridge on their way home, waiting for their own dorms’ power to return.
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