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Dorm temperatures out of students' control

Illustration by Matt Subrizi Hayley Marks Special to the Chronicle

For the first two weeks of the semester, students had the ability to control the overall temperature in their dorm rooms. When it got too chilly for comfort, we could simply turn the fan down a notch or shut the unit off altogether. We no longer have that freedom, as the campus has turned our air conditioners into heaters.

This switch is a good idea in theory - we can have cool air bursting through the vents during the warmer months and warm air during the colder months. But whoever made the executive decision to turn on the heat could have waited at least another month.

Long Island temperatures are not consistent. One week in September had a high of 68 degrees and a low of 40, and the next week, a high of 82 degrees and a low of 60. We don’t need heat in our rooms when the heat outside is already sweltering.

Even with the heat turned off, there is still hot air seeping out of the vents, which gets trapped inside of the rooms by the sun shining through glass windows. I’ve had to keep my window open on multiple occasions to avoid sweaty, sleepless nights. In addition to general discomfort, students have also noticed that their food is melting due to the warmth engulfing the room.

And yet, the school changed our vents yet again, reverting back to the cold air that we began the semester with.  Instead of interchanging our ventilation system between hot and cold air, wouldn’t it be much simpler to have a personal thermostat controlling the actual temperature number in our rooms than a vent that blows out more or less air?

It’s ultimately the school’s decision to regulate our room temperatures, but it would be ideal for the students to be able to fully control the hot and cold air blowing through their vents.

Since we pay so much for residential arrangements in addition to tuition, we should have the right to adjust our room temperatures to fit our personal comfort. We can’t control the weather outside, so we should at least be granted that luxury in our dorm rooms.

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