What Happens When the Lights Go Out

How Redeemer students fare without power

On Sunday, November 16, a massive windstorm caused the power to go out in multiple areas around Hamilton. One of those areas was our beloved Redeemer University, where on campus students experienced a Sunday evening with no power. From 2:30pm until about 9:00pm, aside from a brief 20 minutes of light around 6:30, students in the townhouses and Augustine hall experienced a taste of life without electricity. While some students may have been annoyed with the power outage and the forced study break, other students took this opportunity to have a bit of fun with their dorms.

When on campus Redeemer students were asked how they spent the power outage, the replies varied. Some dorms ran around campus trying to scare other dorms, played campus wide hide and seek, or opted to stay inside (and stay warm and dry!) To add to all the excitement, Aug Hall students were briefly told to prepare for an overnight stay in the academic building before the power turned back on. A large number of dorms played games inside, such as Jenga, poker, spoons, or euchre. While this might sound like a relatively normal dorm night, playing games when you can’t entirely see exactly what you’re doing is a bit of challenge. Having no power presented other challenges: how do you make dinner when there’s no access to a stove, oven, or even a microwave? The solution seems easy: order takeout! Dorm 42 bought people pizza as “random acts of kindness”, Dorm 41 chased their Uber eats driver across the Redeemer campus, and Dorm 30 waited for 2 hours for their pizza delivery (and got the pizza for free when it finally arrived.) 

Other students used the power outage as a way to take a forced break. In a university environment where there always seems to be something to do, breaks are few and far between. However, in an age when lectures, homework, textbooks, and assignments are all online, a power outage serves as a foolproof way to force students to stop and breathe. Sunday is known as the sabbath, and for those of us who don’t regularly take a sabbath, this day was a good way to practice that. Even though homework wasn’t done, this break gave a bit of space to focus on something other than schoolwork. This power outage students were left halfway through a lecture, or with a laptop at 5% battery, or with no light to read their textbooks. With no power and very limited battery power, Redeemer students had the chance to take a break from the everyday stress of university life. 

My dorm was blessed by another dorm ringing the doorbell and singing us carols. We played Dutch Blitz and spoons for hours; people cried, laughed, and made new memories. There’s nothing like a power outage to get dorm members together gathered around a single flashlight, mourning the loss of the wifi and the inability to do homework. But even so; rest was had, a sabbath was taken, and the dorm experienced bonding. Homework did not get done, lectures did not get watched, and science 210 quizzes had to be left until the very last minute. But maybe, just maybe, the memories that were made were worth it.