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Brasenose and St Peter’s hit by power outages

Brasenose, St Peter’s and the Oxford Union have faced power outages in the last week due to technical faults at a local power station. Students at Brasenose College’s Frewin Annexe and St Peter’s College have expressed their frustration with having to deal with loss of internet connectivity and electricity. 

On the morning of Tuesday 27 February, there was a blackout at Brasenose College’s Frewin Annexe due to problems with the local electricity network run by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). Students also reported many other problems with electricity in the past weeks.

The Frewin Annexe houses second year undergraduates at Brasenose College who were left for several hours without any electricity. A student told Cherwell: “it’s so annoying we literally get stuck inside Frewin and our food is going off because of the fridges.”

Brasenose encouraged students to make use of other facilities within the main site, such as the bar and JCR while the College and SSE worked to resolve the issue quickly. Students were also offered free teas and coffee as compensation for the outages. 

St Peter’s College main site, including offices, student rooms and libraries, have also experienced a series of power outages over the last three weeks. Since Sunday 11 February, there have been many on-and-off power cuts, with the longest outage lasting for approximately ten hours on Monday 26 February. 

St Peter’s College told Cherwell the issue was not due to college infrastructure or maintenance provision failures but rather “due to technical issues with the local power transformer and substation, which is located on College property but owned and managed by the electric company.” In an attempt to provide a temporary solution, a generator has been installed by SSE. 

The College has communicated with students during these outages and has tried to “continue to provide hot food at scheduled meal times whenever possible” despite kitchens losing electricity during these power cuts. 

The Oxford Union was also closed temporarily on Tuesday morning due to the power outages. A student told Cherwell that the order of election candidates on the ballot were decided by picking out names out of a shoe instead of the usual digital lottery system.

SSE is currently working on a permanent solution for these power outages while the affected colleges are trying to maintain communication and provide support for their students. 

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