Campus Works Overtime During Outage to Feed Students

During the most recent power outage, students workers and staff take care of others

As the power was shut off on campus and in the surrounding areas, due in part to safety precautions taken by Pacific Gas & Electric in regards to strong winds, Humboldt State University wanted to show the campus community they were more than ready this time around.

According to the Director of Dining Services, Ron Rudebock, that meant having all hands on deck to make sure students knew that the Jolly Giant Commons and The J were not only available for students, but ready for the challenge of feeding all those who came.

“Just short of 12,000 meals [served] for the four days of Saturday dinner through Wednesday lunch,” Rudebock said. 

Being able to maintain those services, including stovetops and microwaves, meant that there was a need for additional hands in the kitchen to make sure that those waiting would not be greeted to empty chafing dishes.

“The first time we had a shorter notice,” Rudebock said. “This time, the school was more prepared and was able to get generators to help power more services.” 

That’s where Kitchen Operations Manager Kyle McEdward and the staff of The Depot came in to play.

“We got an all staff directive on Sunday telling us that we were going to be helping,” McEdward said. “We helped for four days. We were the supplemental help, just doing what we could. It was kind of chaotic, but like I told my staff, we’ve worked in food service. We know what to do at minimum to keep things moving.”

Both McEdward and Rudebock agreed that the outages were good teaching lessons for both teams and examples of how the campus came together to make sure others were helped.

“The campus came together in a lot of different ways and adapting together,” Rudebock said. “There was constant communication to make sure services were getting what they needed and that students were safe. We had members of the administration, like the Provost and President, coming in and talking to students letting them know they weren’t alone.”

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