Lights out at Norwich!

Almost everyone has been through some kind of black out or power outage. They have happened all over the world, and they are nothing new, but a recent power outage at Norwich revealed a crazy side of what happens when the lights go out.

It was just like any regular evening around 10 p.m. for Kaylan Duncan, 20, from Chicago, Ill. He was relaxing during his usual Wednesday night entertainment. “I was playing PubG on my personal computer, you know the usual,” said Duncan “When all of a sudden my computer crapped out, and so did all of the other lights around me.”

“Even though I was in the middle of a winning streak, I knew it was probably just a glitch or a short blackout,” said Duncan. “I just tried to stay calm and grab a flashlight or something, just like any regular human being would — but I look out of my fifth story window out to the U.P. and the whole campus just goes bats–t crazy.”

Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on April 3, the student body and Corps of Cadets at Norwich went crazy and weird activities, pranks and a loss of total control took over the Upper Parade Ground during a 15 minute blackout in the town of Northfield. Instead of reacting to the power outage like Duncan, a business management major, “hundreds were out on the U.P. doing just the weirdest things you could possibly imagine,” said Duncan.

“It was literally the “Purge,” said Duncan, “someone was even blaring the sound track from that horror movie from their upstairs window.” Other dorm rooms facing the Upper Parade Ground were also playing loud horror movie soundtracks or other horror type anthems to match the darkness.

Duncan was able to see the entire event because his room is on the 5th floor of his dormitory, facing and centered to the Upper Parade Ground.

“I could also hear other students blaring the Star Wars soundtrack, from the other side of the U.P.,” said “Jack,” a student who wished to stay anonymous for his participation in the event. Jack, who also has a fifth floor window, facing the U.P., “then saw two people walk on to the grass with glowing Star Wars light sabers.”

“All of a sudden, dozens of other students also come sprinting out of buildings with more light sabers,” said Jack. “So I’m looking out of my window at like 20 people having a full on light saber battle, in the middle of the pitch black campus.” Due to the sheer darkness, the light saber props stuck out and were able to be seen from all over.

As soon as other students realized it was a type of power outage, they looked outside of their windows and joined the fight. “James” and “Bill,” who are roommates and also didn’t want their names known because the participated in the hijinks, “looked out of the window to see which other buildings went out, and we saw people with light sabers,” said James.

“As soon as we saw that, we grabbed ours and ran down there and joined the fight,” said Bill. “It was too perfect because I have three different kinds, and James has two. I grabbed my red one and he grabbed his green one, and we just ran downstairs and joined in.”

“It was hilarious because all of us in the light saber battle on the U.P. took it way too seriously,” said James. “One person who didn’t even have a light saber just grabbed a giant wooden stick and started beating people with it. Once one person grabbed a random stick, others followed and joined the sword fight with random sticks.”

“It was like watching a bunch of grown-ass men at a military college reverting to being five year olds,’’ said Jack. “I didn’t help because I added fuel to the fire.” Jack, from his fifth story window, sparked more drama by shining a high-powered spotlight back and forth. This special effects light added to the visual effects of the light saber battle.

The high powered spotlight, shining out of a window and on to everyone outside “matched the whole scene from the Purge horror movie soundtrack,” said Bill. “It just made the whole blackout feel like the apocalypse, no one was able to keep their cool.”

As the blackout continued, everything just got louder and louder. “I could literally hear people yelling profanity into a megaphone, not a speaker but a legitimate megaphone,” said Duncan. “Someone screaming on a megaphone just caused everyone to start an ‘F*** you fight,” where everyone yells and repeats profanity.

“Our ears were ringing, because a few people were running around with bullhorns while we were in the middle of our lightsaber battle,” said Bill. “I would have never thought that not one, but multiple people would be running around outside with bullhorns.”

According to other onlookers, a few people tried to take photographs of themselves in the dark, in front of Jackman Hall, on the steps of the building with alcohol paraphernalia, said Jack. “I didn’t see them do it from my window, but from what my friends said, they snuck over and took a picture in front of Jackman, on the steps.” “I saw people sprinting back and forth to Jackman from my window, but I have no clue if they actually took pictures with, or had bottles or something in their hands,” said Duncan. “It was just a giant mosh-pit of people running around in pitch black.”

The items in the pictures, in front of Jackman Hall “might have just been empty beer bottles, or root-beer bottles that look the same in the dark, but we couldn’t tell from far,” said Steve. Every small detail about the event was hard to see, because of the lack of lighting. “No one could even recognize each other, or who did what.”

“It was hilarious, because some students went outside, acting like cadre and sarcastically yelling at others to get off the grass,” said Duncan. “Some were serious, but most were totally making fun of and mimicking how cadre yell at rooks to stop doing stuff.”

According to Bill, some individuals were actually trying to stop random events going on. “I think it was either a cadet working guard duty, or someone on Public Safety who was yelling at us (during the light saber battle) to get off of the grass and go back inside.”

Although during the blackout the campus appeared to be pitch black, Bizhan Yahyazadeh, the director of Facilities Operations, explained that the campus is still equipped with temporary backup generators. These generators provide emergency lighting in public campus areas, such as hallways in both dormitories and academic buildings.

Even though students might have made it seem like the apocalypse, the campus was not completely lost in the darkness. Most stairwells, dormitories, and hallways had enough lighting for individuals to be able to safely walk through, and exit the buildings. The backup generator is designed to operate several hours, said Yahyazadeh.

In the end, after about 15 minutes of wild activities in pitch darkness, all of the campus lights suddenly turned back on at the same time. “It was funny, cause all of the guys outside playing Star Wars just froze when they came back on, and then they just all like ran back before they got caught,” said Jack.

“I remember awkwardly freezing in the middle of the fight once the lights came back on,” said Bill. “It ruined the moment, even everyone else doing stupid things outside started running back to their rooms.”

It was almost like a race, once the campus was illuminated again. “It was too perfect,” said Jack because you could tell everyone outside was sprinting back to their rooms, because nobody wanted to get caught.”

Most people would not assume that such random, over-exaggerated, and overly dramatic activity would happen at a military university. “It’s just amazing how the smallest things here at Norwich just turn into the apocalypse,” said Duncan.

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