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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Ice storm hinders finals

Friday, January 18, 2008  
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By Guest Writer

Lindsay Blaze

Ice storms cut power at Oklahoma Christian University as students prepared for the last week of the fall 2007 semester. Finals were moved, and the Oklahoma Christian Administration and IT Services worked hard to make the week go as smoothly as possible.

When the storm hit on Dec. 10 at 6 a.m., Oklahoma Christian’s administration was making preparations for the necessary changes in finals week.

“We knew that we would be starting late, and we had, on Sunday night, sent out communication,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Allison Garrett said.

Crews worked through the night to keep the campus mobile, but the icy conditions created too much potential danger. Power went out on Monday morning leaving the academic buildings and student apartments without power.

“The problem was that our sub-station took on some severe damage, our representative just tried to keep us informed, there were some fears that the power could have been off for several days,” Dean of Students Neil Arter said.

All Monday exams were rescheduled to different times on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  A large concern was getting all exams administered. Oklahoma Christian has students from all over the world, and administration wanted all students to be able to make it to previously-scheduled flights.

IT Services reacted immediately to help all of Oklahoma Christian get through the ice storm. Internet was still available through a back-up generator. A make-shift Mac Lab was set up in the student center for students to finish final projects. E-mails and campus security text messages were also used to keep students and faculty informed.

“I think [the text message system] was a good tool, ” Chief Technology Officer John Hermes said.

The power went out again during a test on Tuesday afternoon.  Later tests were taken in the student center and at Memorial Road Church of Christ. Some tests did not finish until 9 p.m.

“We did pull together, and from Monday on, calls were made to everybody. We really kept everyone informed and had a plan,” junior Will McBroom said.

The atmosphere on campus helped workers do their jobs. 

“I think, for the most part, things turned out as well as they could have. Everybody was very upbeat during the whole situation,” sophomore Tim Wills said.

Garrett made preparations and informed the faculty of what was to come and what would need to be done.

“That was the most important thing, the things she did preparing the faculty to give exams,” Hermes said.

For students in the campus apartments, there was no power for a night and some were forced to go to the student center for power.

“I like how OC handled the whole situation, and they made it easy for everyone to get their finals done,” junior Chase Phillips said.

The ice storm also affected those who live in the Oklahoma Christian campus apartments with children.

Brett and Libby Barnes decided to take their baby, Kaylin, to a friend’s house with electricity.

“It was frustrating because it was pitch black. We were without light, so we left,” Barnes said. “Taking the baby is like moving out of a house because there is so much stuff, and then we found out half an hour later the power was back.”

Most student families took care of themselves, but the administration tried to make sure the young children were safe.

“Some married couples with children made arrangements off campus on their own and a few of them we placed with families off campus,” Arter said. “The main concern we had with everyone, but especially small children, was that we might have to go through a cold night without electricity and heat, but God took care of us with power each night.”

The ice storm had a varying affect on the Oklahoma Christian campus, and left many students with mixed emotions.

Photo by Jonathan Cannon

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