A power outage on Monday, Aug. 29, in Dearmont residence hall, B-wing, at Southeast Missouri State University has directly displaced 51 student residents and forced room relocations.
Unusually hot weather has added to the electrical load of the campus.
“This is obviously a very regrettable situation, and the University apologizes for the inconvenience it is causing students as the fall semester gets underway,” said Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success and dean of students. “Our utmost priority to provide comfortable and safe living accommodations for students, and our Residence Life staff is working with each affected student individually to provide a variety of housing options and to assist them in the relocation process.”
Dearmont staff and other university representatives have worked individually with students throughout the day both Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to finalize relocation plans. “At the same time, we are working with multiple offices on campus to streamline the transition process for affected students,” said Below.
On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the University’s Facilities Management department, with the assistance of the general works electrical contractor, KT Power of Cape Girardeau, inspected the electrical system, including parts of the building not directly impacted by this outage. The electrical systems on wings A and D were previously upgraded and are not affected by the outage. The University is also monitoring electrical usage for students living in C-wing. As a precaution, these students are being asked to voluntarily reduce their electrical usage until further assessments of the situation are made, according to Below.
It has been determined that extensive repairs to the electrical system are necessary before students can return to their rooms in B-wing, Below said. The University is planning now for repair of the electrical system and anticipates re-opening B-wing in spring 2017.
On Tuesday evening, Aug. 30, Southeast President Carlos Vargas, along with other members of the university administration, were on hand for a meeting of all Dearmont residents to explain the situation and their options moving forward. Students were presented with several options including relocation to another on-campus room and the option to move off-campus, without financial penalty. Dearmont residents, who find off-campus accommodations will receive a 100 percent refund of housing fees, providing their contract is cancelled by Sept. 9.
Dearmont residence hall is the University’s only single occupancy residence hall and is home to 185 students. In 2014, Dearmont Hall was converted to single rooms to meet student demand for private rooms.
Students needing assistance are asked to contact staff in the Dearmont Hall Director Office or to call the Office of Residence at (573) 651-2274.