Last October, while I was living in Phelps Hall, there came a day when the heating malfunctioned and indoor temperatures soared to about 100 degrees. Although it lasted only about 24 hours, it was a terrible 24 hours— my makeup melted, plants withered, posters fell off the wall due to melted adhesive and every surface was hot to touch.
That was last year, but lately memories of it have been triggered every time I’m in my current apartment in Hausdoerffer. Yes, the heat has gone up once again, only this time it has been up for days. Granted, it isn’t exactly malfunctioning and is nowhere near as bad as last year, but it remains extremely uncomfortable. Just because we had a few cold days the other week is no excuse for the heat to have been turned on this early in the year. Basically, somebody somewhere made a bad decision, and now all of us in Phelps and Haus have to literally sweat it out.
The worse part of all is that this is the actual heat system that has been turned on and therefore the problem is in no way a result of the weather. As a result, there is no escape (the freshman towers can be quite miserable in warmer months, but at least the air has more mobility). Because the problem is coming strictly from within, opening windows and taking other measures has little to no effect in apartments. Ironically, these are the newest and supposedly the most advanced residential buildings on campus.
I’m speaking out because frankly, I’m tired of certain needs going ignored, or if not exactly ignored, then brushed aside as if they were nothing. We residents received an email that not only didn’t apologize for the conditions, but told us in more words or less to just deal with it.
Hypothetically, if members of the College administration lived in apartments, this would more than likely not be the case. It is very understandable that there are of course more serious issues campus officials must deal with, but all the same it is very hard to ignore the fact that one’s room is slowly baking them to a crisp.
As much as I am giving my personal feelings here, I am speaking on behalf of my fellow residents of Phelps and Haus; one of my roommates has two fans running in her room, and it’s still a bit on the warm side. A friend of mine in Phelps has been freezing bottles to use for heat relief, and I’ve encountered more than a few people from either residence hall escaping the heat by spending long hours in other buildings. Others have expressed concern that the heat is not doing any wonders for their computers and other electronics.
The apartments are now in their third year of being open, but so far Housing has not seemed to figure out an appropriate time to turn on the heating, much less how to operate it properly. Those of us living in Phelps and Haus don’t really care who keeps enacting their poor judgement; we just want to be comfortable in our own residences.
—Brianna Gunter, Managing Editor