By LUKE HILMER
September brought UMW students out of the frying pan, and into a tropical depression. In the first week of September, students sweated through the excessively hot weather, with temperatures reaching as high as 95 degrees. With the passing tropical depression Florence leaving humid moisture all across campus, many students are began to question the integrity of the campus dormitory air conditioning.
Dean Dave Fleming, the assistant Dean of Residence Life and Housing said, “As far as complaints go, we haven’t had any specific complaints so far this year. I knew some work orders had been placed, there are work orders across campus for air conditioning and what-not, but they all seem pretty isolated and some are user error.”
Director of Maintenance Service, Nolan Akau had this to say about the claims:
“We have not received HVAC work orders that are not out of the ordinary when it is HVAC season. What we have experienced is a huge reduction of work orders that rooms are too warm during HVAC season with HVAC [having] been installed.”
When asked to comment about rumors of Ball Hall running completely without air conditioning, Fleming denied the claims as being even possible:
“They’re all windowed units, so if someone’s unit is not working, then it’s a specific unit that needs to be replaced…since they’re all individual units it couldn’t be a systemic issue.”
In-dorm temperature is a common concern that students have around this time of year, in fact a similar article on this topic was published by the Blue and Grey Press last year on Nov 16, when the campus switched from air conditioning to heating despite the fact that temperatures were still in the high 60s and 70s.
The current campus policy regarding temperatures during the air conditioned season states that a temperature of 74-76 degrees must be maintained within occupied dormitory spaces.
Fleming thinks it’s important for residents to know where to go in the case of an A/C issue: “Most of what [complaints] we get works through our work orders system which goes through the Facilities. Not directly into residence life. So where we get involved is if response to those work orders is not being done. For instance when a student says ‘Hey I put in a work order and nothing’s happened yet, what’s my next step.’ then that’s when we start finding out about things. So then our office works with facilities to find out what’s going on.”
Next week’s temperature is looking to rise up to the 80s once again, with high percentages of humidity starting on Monday. With things heating up, students will need to make sure they’re able to keep cool and hydrated. Students who are concerned with their air conditioning performance can get help by contacting the Facilities Department or Residence Life.