Students struggle to beat the heat
San Diego is typically known for mild temperatures year round, but the past few weeks have taken this heat to an extreme level. With temperatures reaching as high as 101 degrees and unusually high humidity, the weather has been nearly unbearable for students who are acclimated to Southern California’s perfect weather patterns.
This heat is strange for the typically moderate San Diego, as the average temperature in September is 76 degrees, according to U.S. Climate Data.
Extremely hot weather can bring about major problems of dehydration, exhaustion, irritability, and sluggishness for students balancing school and extracurricular activities. The hot weather could be especially treacherous under these demands.
Often times, classes take a back seat as students try to stay cool and less active in hopes of beating the heat. Thoughts of ditching class in favor of hitting the beach often pop into students’ minds as they struggle to pay attention in classrooms with no air conditioning.
Sophomore Cynthia Yantza noted that class is low on her priority list when it is this hot.
“All I want to do is leave the class and go home and sleep because I can’t even focus when it’s that hot, and I get bored,” Yantz said.
Although skipping class isn’t ideal, some students say it is preferable because sitting in class isn’t productive. It is harder to focus because the heat is distracting and can make students feel mentally and physically drained.
If students are not attentive, holding classes may be pointless. In intense heat, some may find canceling class a fitting solution, but this alternative isn’t the best plan.
Junior Leah Drost explained that she doesn’t see the need to cancel class in the heat.
“I don’t think classes should cancel due to extreme temperature days because I like USD’s plan of moving the class to a different building [or] room where it’s air-conditioned,” Drost said. “Heat exhaustion is an important issue, but I don’t think it’s worth cancelling class when there’s another alternative.”
Per campus policy, when temperatures reach an alltime high, classes held in un-airconditioned rooms are moved to designated “heat room” class rooms. This approach ensures that classes affected by intense heat have the option to move to cooler areas.
Drost mentioned being in hot classrooms affects her concentration and moving to an air-conditioned classroom would be preferable.
“Personally I feel like it’s much more difficult to concentrate in class when the day is hotter than normal,” Drost said. “I notice my thoughts to be more frazzled [and I have a] slower reaction time processing the information.”
Options like these create a more bearable environment for students to avoid heat exhaustion.
Aside from moving classrooms, USD has an additional way to help students and staff in the unavoidable heat. USD’s tram service helps students get across campus from the West End Parking Structure to the Alcala Vista Apartments throughout the day. Walking around campus in warm weather is what many students dread the most. With the sun beating down on your shoulders, it’s easy to work up a sweat on your way to class.
Although the tram service is helpful, many feel that it doesn’t run enough on these scorching hot days.
Freshman Mary Pat Abruzzo noticed that students and professors alike are exhausted during the day from the walking around in the heat.
“Our campus isn’t too big, but, for someone who needs to get to the JCP from Founders in the middle of the day, I think more frequent trams could make a difference,” Abruzzo said.
Despite the relatively small size of our campus, walking from one end to the other can be extremely tiring when it is 100 plus degrees outside. The tram service is a helpful tool, but having trams run more frequently might help students save their energy, so they can put more toward participating in class.
The inescapable heat that the San Diego community is currently experiencing has made it hard for many students to stay attentive in class. This heat seems to be putting a drain on the energy levels of the USD community as a whole. Until it starts to cool down, moving classes to air-conditioned rooms, as well as having more trams circling campus, can help make this heat wave a little more bearable.
By Lindsey Aiello, Contributor