As students pull out winter coats and brace for another Chicago winter, they might finally find themselves doing something a bit seasonally overdueclosing their windows. To compensate for the blazingly hot dorm heating systems, some housing residents have kept their windows open well into November.
Turning on the automated heating throughout the dorms is not entirely controlled by the University. "The City of Chicago has an ordinance which states that landlords must provide heat for tenants as of October 15," said Housing Director Katie Callow-Wright. "Some autumns if the weather becomes unusually cold and we expect it to remain that way for more than a few days, the heat is turned on in the residence halls prior to the 15th."
This was one of those years, as dorm residents discovered on October 1. University officials were unable to say how much money was spent on heating prior to the required October 15 date.
Most students interviewed by the Maroon in the Shoreland and Max Palevsky Residential Commons, the campus's biggest dorms, were unsatisfied with the dorm heating systems.
Students in the Shoreland said that the temperature vacillates, perhaps due to the building's age of 76 years. "I keep my windows open for ventilation because it can get pretty hot or cold," first-year in the College Adela Foo said.
"Some days it's on and some days it's not," first-year in the College Stefanie Perez said. Jared Davis, another first-year in the College, agreed, saying that the temperature was often random.
Students in the newer Max Palevsky Residential Commons also griped about their heating. When asked if his room temperature was comfortable, second-year in the College Mike Kuppersmith said, "Yes, especially since I keep my windows open during the winter."
"The window's open right now. It's been open ever since October 1. We always have the air on," said Koryn Kendall, a first-year in the College.
"I think you have to have the windows open to have the right temperature. It's a little bit toasty," said Rob Huff, a first-year in the College.