UBC Housing plans electrical shutdown in Marine Drive for all day Saturday

Buildings 1–4 in the Marine Drive Residence will experience an electrical shutdown tomorrow, to the frustration of some students.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., students will not have access to hot water, WiFi, laundry machines, elevators, stoves and other electrical appliances. Janice Robinson, director of residence life and administration, said in a written statement sent to The Ubyssey that the shutdown is for “electrical system maintenance.”

Aditya Singh, a Marine Drive resident who is a fifth-year economics and math student, said he is worried about how people who use wheelchairs will “physically get through the day” while elevators aren’t in service.

To keep himself occupied, Singh plans to spend a couple extra hours with his intramural team before a game they have tomorrow. He’s also made arrangements to move any perishable food items he has to a friend's house.

Rosalyn Carr, a fifth-year biomedical engineering student, is frustrated about both the shutdown and the communication residents received from UBC’s Student Housing and Community Services.

“It’s been a bit confusing,” she said.

On October 8, residents were sent an email informing them of an electrical shutdown on October 13 from 2 to 6:00 a.m. On October 12, they received another email informing them that the following day’s shutdown would be postponed due to “unanticipated circumstances.”

“They didn’t tell us why, other than ‘We can’t do it anymore,’” Carr said.

Then, on October 22, residents were informed about the new electrical shutdown time for Saturday.

Carr thinks that residents weren’t given enough notice. “It’s a little confusing that UBC thought a week was adequate.”

She also expressed concern that the eight-hour period without electricity will cause perishable food items to spoil. UBC informed students that food can be kept cool in the fridge for four to six hours without electricity or two hours at room temperature.

“The thing that was weird to me is that the timeframe they said [that] perishable goods would still be fine is no longer the range of the second outage.”

To prepare, Carr plans to use up any perishable food items she has. She said she will use one of UBC’s libraries for internet access during the shutdown. “[It’s] definitely a little bit inconvenient.”

Robinson noted in her statement that they were “confident with this much advance notice student residents in the affected building, including students with disabilities, can arrange for somewhere else to be during the work period or can prepare for the power outrage and choose to spend the time in their units.”