On June 24, severe thunderstorms hit the greater West Chester area, resulting in students of the East Village apartments being temporarily unable to access their apartments.
At around 5:30 p.m., there was a tornado warning, and many students took shelter inside. Approximately 5,000 West Chester residents and between 20,000 and 50,000 Chester County residents lost power.
Due to the power outage, students in the East Village apartment on South Campus were temporarily unable to access their apartments. East Village apartments are located inside of a building. Students must swipe their access cards to gain access to the building and to get into their actual apartments as well.
When Tom Abramouski, WCU senior, tried with his friend to get into her apartment in East Village, they found out they could not.
Another friend called Public Safety and explained the situation. He asked what he should do and if there was any way to get into the building. “They were not helpful,” Abramouski said. “When he asked what he should do or if they could help him get into the building, they just said no. They recommended staying with friends on North campus.” Abramouski and his friend stayed with a friend off campus who had power.
According to Pamela Sheridan, the Public Relations director for the university, University Student Housing has 24-hour emergency personnel in place for situations like this; however, no students contacted them.
After students contacted Public Safety, Public Safety contacted USH’s after-hours maintenance technician, Sheridan explained. Around 45 minutes later, the entry doors were propped open so that students had access to the buildings. (Individual apartments remained unaffected, as the interior locks are battery operated.)
In the event of emergency sleeping arrangements being needed, Ehringer, Sturzebecker, and Hollinger are typically designated. During the storm, students in Tyson were temporarily relocated to Killinger Hall, however, since Ehringer, and Sturzebecker were out of power, Sheridan explained.
“Serving WCU students and keeping them safe is a top priority of both USH and the Public Safety department, especially after a severe storm,” Sheridan explained.
Theresa Kelly is a fourth-year student majoring in English literature secondary education major. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.