It is always nice to know backup systems are ready to act in case the unexpected occurs. In the case of last week’s New Hall power outage, the University’s backup system failed and left students in the dark. Had the loss of power occurred during an actual emergency in which lives were at risk, the outcome could have been much worse. Thankfully, everyone was fine.
The malfunction left one student stranded in an elevator with no contact to emergency workers. And hallways were dark. Had the backup system functioned properly, an emergency generator would have provided lighting in halls to the point students to stairways and exits, and the call box would have reached help.
And if news of that fails to offend, GW’s new Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Emergency Management John Petrie learned of the incident only when a Hatchet reporter asked him about it. GW needs to do a better job of keeping all those who should be in the loop, in the loop. There is no room for error where, in the District, emergency on any kind of scale can strike without warning.