Heating at Augustana: A constant battle

Hailey Glasnovich

Walking into nearly any building on Augustana’s campus, a student never really knows what to expect, temperature-wise. It can feel like one is still outside in freezing temperatures or in the Sahara Desert, immediately sweating through all the layers of clothing.

The inconsistent heating at Augustana is unacceptable. It is unfair for students to pay so much for schooling that does not provide a dependable and equal source of heating in all the buildings on campus.

In general, now that temperatures have stayed consistently colder, the heating is on constantly. However, this does not stop the heating system from breaking sometimes or not regulating the temperature through buildings evenly.

Westerlin is the residence hall used for students with medical accommodations, such as the needs for air conditioning and heating. It is the newest residence hall, supposedly guaranteeing a better living environment for those with accommodations. In actuality, this is just not the case.

“When it started to get cold, and the temperatures would go back and forth, they started turning the heat on [and] it was really difficult,” first-year Genevieve Ryan, a resident of Westerlin, said. “A lot of the time, it would be like 81 degrees. It was way too hot. Then they would turn the heat off, and it would be like 60 degrees in your room. Last week, my roommate and I’s room was like that for four days straight.”

The heating in the buildings is unpredictable. If the heating is going to be turned up high, it could at least be consistent.

Most students do not even go through the trouble of filling out a work order. When the same problems occur, it seems pointless.

“We’ve gotten like four different messages this year about heating,” Ryan said.

“Initially our air conditioning was broken. It was fixed in a day or two. And then I think we got a notification in mid-October that the heat was broken. That happened for like three days. And then about a week and a half ago, we got an email about the heat in the even numbered rooms in our wing being broken, but it was broken for our whole wing.”

Augustana always seems to be aware of the inconsistencies in the heating and cooling systems, but the college cannot find a permanent solution. This goes beyond residence halls as well.

The academic buildings on campus are never the same temperature from my experience. Olin is always an arctic tundra, the basement of Denkmann is either very cold or very hot and Old Main is always a sauna.

These inconsistencies make it very difficult to have a comfortable learning environment. Having to pile on layers of clothes just to prepare for the different classrooms is tiring. You can easily break a sweat just from going upstairs in a building that has the heating turned up, or you can sit through an entire class period freezing no matter how many layers you have on.

Students need to be able to prepare and know what to expect from each building. Residents should not have to bundle up in dorm rooms during the winter months or sweat from how hot their rooms are. Students should also be able to go to class knowing they will be comfortable in what they are layering up in.

The cost for students attending Augustana is way too high for such an unstable learning environment with unpredictable temperatures. Augustana needs to provide consistent, functioning heating to all students in all places on campus.