Loss of electricity derails speech efforts

Last week, student body President Cesar Hernandez gave a 24-hour speech that was set to kick off a 72-hour team speech.

While the 24-hour speech was completed at 11 a.m. Wednesday, the team-speech efforts ended nearly 38 hours ahead of schedule.

Omar Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in history and international studies, followed Hernandez’s speech and spoke for six hours, until 5 p.m. Rodriguez said the team speech ended between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

“I was at a soccer game,” Rodriguez said. “But I had people texting me around that time that it had ended.”

He said the end of the speech was a result of technical difficulties.

“We lost our lights and our electricity around (9 p.m.),” he said. “We had it planned out from the beginning, but some people said they were going to get us resources and didn’t.”

Rodriguez said their microphones and lights were powered by a borrowed generator from local artist Tony Lima, who drew for 24 hours alongside Hernandez’s speech, and that they knew they would not be able to keep the generator for the speech’s duration.

Rodriguez said they did not want to talk in the dark.

Plans to obtain a second generator the first and sustain electric power fell through, leaving the campaign without electricity to run the lights and sound system, Rodriguez said.

Hernandez said the last person to speak was Franz Villate, a graduate student studying secondary social sciences.

Hernandez, who spent more than 36 hours awake, said he was asleep while Villate’s speech was ending.

“I went to bed around 9 p.m.” Hernandez said. “(There) were a lot of people who wanted to speak who didn’t get their voice heard. I think the students that did speak saw that if they want to make a statement, it’s possible.”