The time of the year has arrived where temperatures leave the realm of comfort and force students into a constant state of shivering. Every year, Bearcats receive an email that notifies them that Northwest has finally deemed it cold enough to turn on the heat across campus buildings.
Although the University decides what “cold enough” means on campus, students annually cross the crisp threshold before Northwest cranks its furnaces on. This results in yearly complaints from students that could be avoided if students were allowed to control the climate of their rooms.
An email sent by Northwest News Oct. 26 announced the campus will transition from cooling to heating Oct. 28. Northwest’s system can only operate on one setting at a time, so the University unintentionally either freezes its students out or tries to melt them in their winter coats. There’s not much of a mix of the two options.
As for faculty and staff, the same issue impacts them on campus. Using rooms to teach, advise and host events that use the same system as the dorms causes issues with comfortable room temperatures. Instructors often apologize for classroom saunas and promptly remove their burly coats while griping about sweating in class just for the sweat to freeze with one step outside.
Students who live on campus witness this problem essentially daily. They also express their concern with the system of operations. If dorm rooms have thermostats, residents should be allowed to use them accordingly. Students pay thousands of dollars each year they live on campus to be forced to live in uncomfortable temperatures. They live under the facade that their rooms’ climate can be controlled by a thermostat when, in reality, the dials and levers are equivalent to the burners in a children’s playset kitchen.
Allowing students to choose their own temperatures would not only make students happier in dorms, but it could potentially save the University money. Not all students are going to constantly turn their units on full blast. Some students enjoy letting their body heat warm up the room and rely on insulation to keep it warm.
Insulation is another money-losing problem the University should address. In the high-rises, windows often frost over from outside temperatures and allow the outer half of the room to chill while the other half is burning. Despite how minor the issue may seem, it would be wise for Northwest to fix it.
Ventilation has been expressed as an issue in Roberta Hall. Sorority students have been requested to keep windows and doors shut to make sure that heat can spread evenly across the building. With individual heating, each room would be properly warmed, which would eliminate the problem. The Northwest Missourian staff may not be HVAC experts, but we know that heating and cooling would be nice to control ourselves.
Even a cap on how far students can raise or lower temperatures would be better than the two extremes offered at the moment.
Individual heating and cooling can also prove beneficial for the nicer months of the spring semester or the glorious period of fall semester. Being able to choose which days are nice enough to enjoy open windows would improve the moods of many students. It would benefit the University’s metaphorical pockets as well.
Maryville’s weather is notorious for being erratic. Northwest should help Bearcats stay comfortable during months when the temperatures vary most often. Relinquishing thermostat control to students would be the best way to accomplish that.