Blacked Out Bobst


Coco Wang

Elmer Holmes Bobst library in darkness following a power outage on Tuesday 14th, February 2017.

Jemima McEvoy, News Editor

Blackouts in Elmer Holmes Bobst Library and Tisch Hall at approximately 1:30 p.m. have led professors to cancel the classes in these buildings and Public Safety officers to evacuate students from affected areas. Some students in the library also reported seeing a black liquid dripping from the ceiling of lower level one at a similar time to the blackout.

A Public Safety officer asking students to exit the atrium of Bobst said that nobody knows what caused the power outage. He said that they are currently looking into the cause, but until the lights turn back on students will not be allowed into the library. The power is still working in the adjacent building, the Kimmel Center for University Life.

A different Public Safety officer in Bobst said that if students wanted to stay in the building they were allowed to, but nobody was allowed to re-enter the building.

NYU spokesperson Matt Nagel said that the administration is aware of the power outage.

“Facilities is aware of the issue and working on it,” Nagel said. “I’ll have to look into the other issue [the black liquid on lower level one of Bobst].”

Some students wandered around outside Bobst as they were unsure whether their classes would be cancelled or postponed. Others, such as Gallatin junior Lane Bhutani, were studying in Bobst when the lights went out. Bhutani said that the gates where students usually swipe into the library were open when she entered the building, but she didn’t notice the power was out until she went to the bathroom and it was pitch black.

“I couldn’t see anything and then I noticed all these people accumulating and freaking out, and then somebody was yelling in the main room,” Bhutani said. “Someone was shouting from the lobby upwards saying ‘get out of the building,’ and I was in the elevator when it was happening. When I was on lower level one everybody had no idea what was happening.”

LS freshman Michelle Lin was in her Social Foundations class on lower level one of Bobst around the time the blackout occurred when a black liquid began dripping from the ceiling of the classroom.

“In the middle of class on top of the ceiling we heard weird sounds, and we looked at it but then we just kept going,” Lin said. “But suddenly it started to drip black water and then it sort of just flooded. It started with a little bit in the middle of the classroom and then it was all over the ceiling. It was raining almost.”

Lin said that she saw maintenance people entering the classroom after she left. She said she thought the ceiling was going to collapse during her class.

In Tisch Hall, some classes continued despite the blackout. Students also reported that the wifi in the building stopped working around 2:30 p.m. LS sophomore August Enzer was attending one of the classes in Tisch Hall that was not cancelled because of the blackout.

“I walked to the Tisch Hall bathroom and half the classes I passed were pitch black, but there were people in all of them,” Enzer said. “Teachers were teaching in pitch black rooms. A few people were on laptops.”

Despite reports of a mysterious black liquid on lower level one of Bobst, a number of students on this floor weren’t even aware that the blackout was happening. Steinhardt junior Nils Petersson said that he was on lower level one of Bobst when the blackout initially happened but didn’t notice until he left to make a phone call on one of the higher levels.

“I thought nothing of it because I was on the phone and distracted,” Petersson said. “I was looking around I think I heard somebody yell ‘help.’ Before I knew it everyone was gone and the security guards were telling me that I’d be forcibly removed if I didn’t leave immediately.”

Additional reporting by Coco Wang. Email Jemima McEvoy at [email protected]