Photo by Asyrique Thevendran/The Gazelle

Switch to mains power scheduled for Eid

From Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, students will be moved into different residence halls to allow NYU Abu Dhabi to switch from generator power to power drawn from ...

Sep 24, 2014

Photo by Asyrique Thevendran/The Gazelle
From Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, students will be moved into different residence halls to allow NYU Abu Dhabi to switch from generator power to power drawn from the metropolitan grid. From Oct. 5 to Oct. 7, students living in the A5 and A6 buildings will be rehoused in the A1 building, which are currently uninhabited. From Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, students in the A2 building will be moved into spare rooms in A6.
This shift, initially scheduled for before students' arrival on campus, will take place over the Eid al-Adha holiday to ensure less disruption than if it took place during the semester.
Director of Facilities Marcelino Romanos said that delays in construction made it impossible for the power switch to happen before the beginning of the fall semester, as initially planned.
“We anticipated that to happen a long time ago before we even moved in. We're not privy to all the details [but] because this is a general contractor there was some unfinished business. ADDC [Abu Dhabi Distribution Company] wanted to make sure everything is right on. There [are] a lot of entities that get involved,” Romanos said.
Students will be required to take with them their bedding, pillow and anything they may need for up to 48 hours. Deputy Dean of Students Donna Eddleman noted that students returning to their rooms before power returned posed a safety threat.
“If [students return to their rooms when they have no power] we're getting in the way of the workers, every time someone goes in that building there's a threat of health and safety so we will articulate a clear expectation that you have got to take everything you need for 24 or 48 hours,” Eddleman said.
To ensure that students who remain on campus over Eid are accounted for — many students will be travelling over Eid break — Residential Education sent out a survey to gauge how many students would remain on campus.
“About 50% of the student population that is currently living on campus has responded. It is looking like about 50% of the students may be on campus but we've also asked for a breakdown [of which] days will you be here, so 50% of our students will be here for part of the break,” Eddleman said.
Faculty will also be moved as part of this process, most likely to a hotel in Abu Dhabi. Assistant Professor of History Mark Swislocki said that such an outcome could be both good and bad.
“I think it could end up being a fun weekend in a hotel, where we wouldn't normally stay, it could be a little awkward because we have a three year old son. Sometimes he has a good time in hotel and sometimes it’s not a great place for him to play in,” said Swislocki.
Currently, the eight generators, which supply campus, supply power to multiple buildings. For example, the generator which supplies A1 also runs A2. Power will instead be directed to substations located underneath the campus.
A result of running on generator power is a volatile electric supply. This has meant that some research projects have been delayed and IT issues such as a fluctuating Wi-Fi have affected both students, faculty and staff. Being connected to the main grid is expected to alleviate some of these issues.
The university will benefit from having the generators removed. Currently they run on diesel, emit smoke and block some entry points into campus, reducing access for emergency vehicles. Noise pollution will also be reduced.
A message about the plans for the switch is expected to be released to the university community within 48 hours of publication.
Connor Pearce is managing editor. Email him at
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