Noticed a change in your room temperature lately? If so, it’s probably because the higher beings who reign over residential life have decided to celebrate the changing of the seasons by mixing up the climate-control settings on campus. We tasked Staff Writer Asya Sagnak with investigating some varying viewpoints surrounding the issue.
Oh, air-conditioning. Who knew a non-sentient household installment could cause such controversy? Anyone who’s lived on-campus will testify that ventilation is a major concern on student minds, whether you’re lamenting your lack thereof or voraciously celebrating its presence. But with the shifting of the seasons, a new force has come into play: heating. All dorms on campus now seem to be entirely devoid of cooling systems, whereas only some have graduated to heating. I’ve analyzed the phenomena of climate control settings by taking a look at different opinions that have formed in the community, focusing on four main schools of thought.
Ready To Fight: The Non-Sulz Barnard First-Year
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? No, William Congreve, you had it wrong—we’ll let it slide because you were actually born 300 years before air conditioning was invented—hell hath no fury like a Barnard woman who’s been living in heat for the last two months. While the Sulz kids have been chilling out in their chilled-out rooms, some of us have been suffering in silence. And dignity. And perseverance. Reid/Brooks/Hewitt pride, am I right?
But thanks to the newfound shortcomings of the ventilation system (i.e., Sulzberger AC switched to heat, even though it’s still 70 degrees outside), the scales have been balanced. The rich are now poor. The poor are…just as poor. Everybody is miserable, but at least there is a dollop of pride for those of you who have been oppressed by the system all along. “See how hard our lives have been?” you yell out of your window to strangers walking by on the street. “How do you like it now, huh, Sulzberger? How do you like it now?” You put your fans to the highest setting as you form a circle and chant the battle hymn of the unfortunate: The weak will not survive the moderately warm fall. The weak will not survive the moderately warm fall.
Entitled And Afraid: The A/C Addict
The moment you enter your dorm, you know something’s off. You see frowns all around you, your RA looks down as she walks past. The lighting in the halls seem dimmer—is that a girl crying on the floor by the bathroom? You unlock your door, and wait for the fresh breeze of air conditioning to hit your face and revitalize you. Wait…where is it? Oh, no. Oh no. They couldn’t possibly have…They wouldn’t…
“THEY WOULD!” screams the girl from the bathroom floor, eerily reading your mind, “THEY DID! THEY TOOK OUR AIR!” You step out of your room, disgusted. How can this be possible? You’re sure there’s some sort of law against this, some sort of right—isn’t it in the constitution (or your housing contract)? Yes, you’re disgusted that Columbia has invaded your constitutional right to live in a New York City dorm complex that has been engineered to suit your exact temperature needs. You’re unsure whether you should file a lawsuit or move back to California. For the time being, you order an industrial-sized fan from Amazon Prime.
“What are you on about? It’s freezing outside!”: The Pro-Heating Activist
You never understood the controversy surrounding air-conditioning. I mean yes, September was hot, but guys, look at the big picture – winter is so much longer! It’s more than possible to survive one month in warm weather, but there’s no way in hell you could make it through an East Coast winter without heating. If it’s not on now, how do you know they’ll ever actually turn it on? What if you freeze? In Plimpton?
There’s only one thing you can do, and that is to suit up for these harsh 60 degree days. Before you leave for your class, you wear your snow boots and throw three additional layers of clothing into your bag. Someone might freeze today, but it sure as hell won’t be you. You’ll fight for your October heating rights until the day you die.
Partying Got Me Hot And Sweaty: The Confused Victim
Columbia’s meant to be an environmentally friendly school, right? They’re meant to at least try, right? So can anyone provide some sort of justification for why the administration has decided to waste all this energy and turn on your heating when the leaves haven’t even turned yellow yet?
You don’t have the time to deal with this. You live in Carman, and people expect great things from you. How can you host the dopest party of the weekend when your room feels like a goddamn sauna? How will people dance? It’s impossible to even take a walk around the halls without breaking a sweat from all the artificial heat. As if the actual heat wasn’t enough! You couldn’t possibly relocate–that would cramp your entire vibe. You take off all your clothes and lie on your bed, wondering what you did to deserve such a cruel fate.
The bane of your heated existence via Shutterstock