• Johannes Becht

What a week: Campus closure, power outage, active shooter lockdown

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Dark floor in Oklahoma Hall during one of the several power outages on the SWOSU campus. Photo: Becht.
Dark floor in Oklahoma Hall during one of the several power outages on the SWOSU campus. Photo: Becht.

By Johannes Becht

News Editor

What a week at Southwestern Oklahoma State University...

It all started with freezing temperatures, snow and ice that made the roads hardly possible to use in order to get to the campus.

Consequence: On both Monday and Tuesday, as well as Wednesday morning, the SWOSU Administration closed campus due to inclement weather. Some classes, however, were continued virtually.

That turned out to be increasingly difficult. So far, the SWOSU campus has experienced four power outages, the most long-lasting one from Wednesday morning until Thursday morning. The latter was a result of power lines between El Reno and Weatherford being destroyed by ice. On Thursday evening, the power went off for a few hours, caused by overloading in the transmission system.

Since there was no power and internet for students living on campus, the Student Union remained open on Wednesday and Thursday evening to provide an opportunity to charge phones and to use the SWOSU Wifi.

Students in the Grill, waiting for the power to come back. Photo: Becht.

That's the reason the SWOSU Administration suspended classes for Thursday. On Friday, classes took place like usual.

Certainly the most memorable event, however, was the active shooter alert and following lockdown on Tuesday afternoon/evening. At 5:36 p.m., SWOSU students were informed about an "active shooter" and ordered to lock themselves up immediately. In the cafeteria and Grill, students were hiding under tables, lights were shut off and doors were locked.

In the end, a SWOSU athlete was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. The shooting took place at Campus North apartments.

On Friday, court documents published by the Weatherford Daily News said that the suspect had officially been charged with First Degree Robbery, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. Further details were released.

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