Hot, Hot, Hot: It’s Time for AC.
The sunburns, parched lips, and 90 degree heat are not all that August in San Diego is known for.
It’s also the month when thousands of students will move into their boiling hot dorm rooms, during one of the worst heat waves of the year. For students hauling all of their belongings up stairs in the heat, the move in process can be nearly unbearable.
While most students come equipped with a fan or two, the dorm rooms at the University of San Diego have a tendency to become very stuffy, trapping in heat and creating an uncomfortable environment for students. This phenomenon has many students calling for air conditioning to be installed in on-campus housing.
Senior Emma Uriarte recalled just how hot dorms can get at the very beginning and end of the school year.
“It is really uncomfortable in early September and often in May when there is no air conditioning,” Uriarte said. “Having air conditioning available in student housing would be preferable.”
Uriarte notes that while air conditioning would be an improvement, the weather in San Diego is normally very nice.
“Honestly it’s not completely unbearable,” Uriarte said. “I just spent the summer in Madrid in a house with no air conditioning, so my perspective is a little bit skewed, but the climate of San Diego is nice even when it seems ‘hot’.”
Junior Kate Newton echoed the sentiment that around summer months heat waves make the dorms difficult to live in.
“I lived on campus my first two years, and it was unbearable to stay in the room during the heat waves at the beginning and end of the school year,” Newton said. “No matter how many fans my roommates and I had, it didn’t help.”
Newton also expressed that the lack of air conditioning in her dorm room affected her productivity.
“I couldn’t study or sleep comfortably in my room because it was so hot,” Newton said. “I think it’s ridiculous the amount of money we pay as students for room and board, and we still don’t have air conditioning. By installing air conditioning in both housing and classrooms, I think it would help students overall.”
While the majority of the time temperature isn’t an issue within the dorms, during particularly hot times, it definitely seems to be a problem. Students should feel comfortable in their housing, especially now that the university has mandated students live on campus for their first two years.
Sophomore Lesny Espinoza explained that she will face another hot year of living on campus.
“We should have air conditioning in the dorms because it is where we spend most of our time,” Espinoza says. “Being in a small confined space with multiple [roommates] tends to make it hotter over time.”
It seems unreasonable to ask the university for unlimited access to air conditioning. However, the school could consider using it in certain circumstances, for example, if the temperature rises above a certain degree.
Senior Gabby Koepenick was so frustrated with the temperature in her sophomore year dorm room that she considered paying out of pocket to install portable air conditioning in her apartment.
“It was absolutely miserable,” Koepenick said.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, during this past summer San Diego broke several temperature records all around the county, some even causing red flag warnings to be issued due to the increased risk of fire hazard.
With temperatures in the area consistently rising, it appears that the start of the school year will be a scorching one, prompting the need for air conditioning now more than ever. Although sure to be an expensive project for the university, it may be an inevitable one if San Diego keeps getting hotter. While soaring temperatures may make for excellent beach days, sweltering dorm rooms do not make for a comfortable living environment, and installing air conditioning in the dorms would be an investment in the students’ happiness.
Written by Dani DeVries, Opinion Editor