NIU Student Regent James Mertes is right to be concerned about the future of power in the university’s residence halls.
When the electricity went out for a few days in late August as DeKalb sweltered through unbearable heatwaves, it wasn’t so bad—but don’t tell the powerless residents that. Honestly, though, most people can live through hot weather.
If the same thing happens in the winter, however, it’ll be a different story.
This town can get pretty cold during those months and it won’t be a pretty picture. A building full of freezing students is something NIU administrators really don’t want. If this happens, the showers that were still around in August might disappear as well when the pipes freeze.
Furthermore, the August problem was remedied by a lot of late night work by repair crews. The temperatures at night then were pretty much liveable—don’t expect the same during a frigid and bitter DeKalb winter.
NIU President John La Tourette said the university is dealing with cable that’s 25 years old and would not want to offer written assurance the power won’t fail. If La Tourette knows the cable is so old and can’t guarantee its reliable use, perhaps he should do something about it.
For many students, living in the residence halls is a pleasurable experience. For others, however, it’s not. They complain about the food, the phones, their roommates and whatever else will influence their parents to ante up for apartments.
Let’s not give them another argument.