A power transformer that exploded at the church on Nov. 9 temporarily displaced SA’s Vespers program to Dauphinee Chapel. But the move is permanent.
The explosion occurred around 11 p.m. and caused an overnight power outage across campus. When the smoke cleared—literally—a thin layer of soot covered pews, banisters and other surfaces.
The damage left the church unusable for the scheduled Colloquy program, Vespers, and church service. School administration cancelled Colloquy but not Vespers or the church service. Instead, church and SA leadership moved the programs to Dauphinee Chapel in Winning Hall.
A volunteer crew, which included SA Religious Vice President Kevin Galeano and former SA president Nic Miller, installed sound, lighting, and video equipment at Dauphinee Chapel, an undertaking completed just 24 hours after it began and in time for the Nov. 11 Vespers program.
“The move was hurried but not panicked,” said Galeano. "We had a dilemma that was presented to us and we dealt with it accordingly and with volunteers who were willing to help."
Though this month’s move to Dauphinee was unexpected, it was not unplanned. Conversation for such a move began last year with implementation slated for winter quarter this year. Galeano said the idea to move was inspired by a desire to create a better, more intimate worship environment for students.
Worship chaplain and student Rhea Cunanan led the worship service at the first Dauphinee Chapel Vespers.
“It was a really last minute change, but everyone was able to pull through in time to make it the best it could be." said Cunanan, "I was blessed to be able to be part of music that Friday."
Taylor Bothwell, a freshman, approved of the move. “I like it because it [Dauphinee] forces you to be closer so you experience it with the people around you.” Bothwell, who lives in Andre Hall, also appreciates the shorter walking distance.
Church administration similarly welcomed the Vespers venue change. Mark Witas, lead pastor at the PUC church, said the move meant reduced strain on a shared-space relationship that permits the use of church equipment for college programming. The equipment used at Dauphinee Chapel is SA-owned.