Sharjah, UAE: Students and staff at the American University of Sharjah want to know why a power failure caused so much chaos as final exams began.
Power was cut to most of the university and surrounding areas at about 8.30am on Thursday.
Students and parents took to social media to express their frustration about the university’s poor communication and management of the power cut, which continued until Friday afternoon.
Many of the 2,280 students and 362 faculty who live on campus had to fend for themselves during one of the hottest days of the year.
“You have a situation where there is no water, the heat is desperate. Actually it’s dangerous, and it’s going on for a long time – a day and a half – and you’re on your own,” said one faculty member.
The staff member questioned why the university did not provide students with a list of vacancies at nearby hotels or bring in buses to transfer the students to cooler and safer facilities.
Fatima, a 21-year-old biology student, said she was concerned for her friends in the dormitories.
“Some of the students went to the library and they slept over there,” said Fatima. “The problem was all the hotels around the campus were fully booked because the students were just fleeing the university because there was no electricity. Other students slept in their dorms and opened their windows.
“Some Students dont have transportation. It was major chaos.”
The university’s group email system was down from 12.23pm to 1.21pm, so messages from the university were conveyed via text message and social media during that time.
But students said these messages were muddled. For example, students sitting an 11am exam received notice that their exams were to be cancelled and rescheduled after 11am.
“So there were people who were taking the exams inside classrooms from 11am to 1pm, with no AC, no electricity, nothing,” said Fatima.
The examinations were rescheduled for Saturday and yesterday, but many students complained this conflicted with their other exams.
“I’m confused and shocked because of how stupid this situation was. This is not acceptable at all,” said Fatima. “You would expect that not to happen when you pay Dh50,000 per semester and they are increasing the fees.”
A spokeswoman for AUS said all efforts had been made to keep students and staff informed.
“Some areas of Sharjah experienced a power cut due to a major fire at the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority power station,” she said.
“This hit buildings across our campus, but power was restored in some buildings by Thursday evening and in all campus facilities by late Friday afternoon.
“During the power cut, AUS continued to work with Sewa to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, fully cognisant of the inconvenience caused to our students and employees.
“The senior management team in consultation with academic units considered all options available before making a decision to reschedule the exams.”
© The National
The post Sharjah university suffers power cut as students sit exams appeared first on edarabia.com.