On Wednesday, Oct. 11 around 6:00 p.m., a large portion of the University of Dallas campus lost power. Afterward, the Cafe began slowly filling with smoke until the fire alarm went off around 6:20 p.m. and students flooded out onto the Mall, some still clutching their food.
“We came over, and the Cafe was super smoky,” said Sarah Sanford, freshman undeclared major, who was interviewed while she ate her food sitting on the Mall as the fire alarm blared in the background. “I was in line for food. They handed me my plate, and then the alarm went off, so I walked out with my food, but none of my friends got any.”
The fire department arrived at approximately 6:40 p.m. After the fire department arrived and the fire alarm was shut off, the cafeteria opened briefly to serve what remained of the food. “The food was cold, and there was barely any food. It was the usual options, just less amount, but there were no burgers or fries,” said Angela Bawardi, senior biology major. “It was also very smoky and I have asthma, so that wasn’t very fun.”
During this time, the soda machines were only available for water. Because students were not allowed to eat inside the Cafe after receiving their food, paper plates and utensils were used.
After giving a ten-minute warning, the cafeteria closed around 6:45 p.m. that day.
“On the record? Yeah, this rocks. I’m a big fan of what’s happening here today,” said Benjamin Thomas, junior drama major, who was interviewed at the scene of the incident. “This is on par with the squirrel in terms of funniness.”
Russell Greene, chief of UDPD, was contacted for comment.
“I really don’t know what caused the power outage,” said Greene. “The last couple outages were caused by squirrels. I know squirrels were not involved for this one.”
Dr. Jonathan Sanford, president, said, “On the city’s side, a transformer exploded. That caused a surge that went through the main wire coming into campus, and that tripped a bunch of fuses on campus.”
Once the city of Irving had fixed the transformer, power had to be selectively turned on and off throughout the campus to locate the blown fuses.
“[Ben] Gibbs was here until 1:30 in the morning, leading the effort,” said Sanford.
On Monday, Oct. 16, around 1:40 p.m., the fire alarms went off in the Cafe again. This time, the culprit was not a power outage.
“One can only conclude that this is God bestowing the gift of absolute lunacy upon our beloved university,” said Thomas, who was interviewed once again on the scene dressed in full Viking gear. “On the record, this rocks even harder than last time.”
The scurry of squirrels hanging out around the Cafe at the time of the incident declined to comment.