ResLife if you’re reading this, please fix the water heaters in the Barnard Quad!

You know that feeling after a long day when you’re tired, hungry, disheveled, and distressed all at once, and all you want to do is take a nice hot shower? Residents of Barnard’s Quad know the feeling quite well, and unfortunately, have been met with a lot of disappointment (in the form of cold water) this winter.

Since the arrival of the cold weather at the end of the Fall semester, and especially for the past month, residents of the Quad have been taking freezing cold showers, which can lead to extreme health consequences if not addressed. However, instead of backing down in the face of adversity, Quad residents have found creative ways to cope (thankfully, ways that do not include skipping showers altogether!) 

I spoke with two other fellow Quad residents, Resident #1 who lives in Hewitt Hall and Resident #2 who lives in Sulzberger Hall. Interestingly enough, neither resident likes to shower in the hall they live in. “I haven’t showered in Hewitt in, like, five months. I only use Brooks,” said Resident #1. When I asked her why she said it’s because “the water pressure and the water temperature [are] very consistent” in Brooks, whereas “the Hewitt showers don’t heat,” a statement that was followed by laughter. As a Hewitt resident myself, I can certainly confirm this to be true.

Resident #2 has done a bit more traveling through the Quad in order to find the best shower. “I shower in Reid, but sometimes Reid has really cold water and the water pressure is quite poor. Then I shifted to Brooks, but then Brooks is too far and Reid has now gotten better.” In similar feeling as Resident #1, Resident #2’s preference for Reid’s showers is because “they now have hot water consistently.”

However, here’s where an element of strategy comes into play: both residents agree that the time of day at which they shower is a critical factor in whether or not they receive hot water. “Showering late nights I find that I get really cold water, which is not great,” said Resident #2. “For me, [the] best times [are] between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, I don’t know why. Each time I shower [during] that time I get consistently hot water.”

Similarly, Resident #1 claims she showers “between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and [they] always have hot water in Brooks.” It goes without saying, however, that both of these time spans are during the middle of the day when most students are attending class, making it nearly impossible for students unavailable during those hours to get a hot shower either before or after. Moreover, due to the discomfort and possibility of falling sick posed by a cold shower itself, residents are less likely to shower at all. Resident #2 attested to having observed this phenomenon occurring but, luckily, she continues to shower even when it’s cold. “I shower once a day,” she says, “sometimes the duration of the shower is affected by the water temperature but never the shower itself, because… I wanna be clean, unlike some people.” For the sake of said “people,” but truly for all of our sakes, it’s time for Barnard ResLife to make an intervention. 

Lastly, I asked both residents to rank the four showers from best to worst, and both agreed that Brooks takes first place, followed by Reid. As for which shower takes last place, Sulz or Hewitt. Resident #1 says that “Hewitt is down there by a very large margin.” Looks like us Hewitt residents have gotten the shortest end of the stick. Here’s to hoping that we all seek shelter and warmth in Brooks!

My final thoughts as a fellow Quad resident? The Quad has devolved into a daily Hunger Games-esque roulette to find the warmest shower, one involving immense strategy. Time of day must be of utmost consideration and you must be prepared to squeak across the halls in your shower shoes to get to the Brooks shower before your opponent across the hall does first. You might even want to skip class today to get hot water, because it will certainly be cold when you get back (it’s either that or pneumonia for you this winter) to the Quad. Until the day ResLife responds to the countless complaint emails sent by residents, all I can say is, may the odds be ever in your favor!

Barnard Quad via Bwog Archives.