Students feel effects of changing weather

By Perri Killam

Illinois’ weather has brought both chills and heat to NIU recently.

After some unseasonably warm weather, and then a bout of cold weather shortly after, students and staff are wondering how the air conditioning on campus operates.

“Mother Nature doesn’t listen to us,” said Kevin Howard, chief engineer of the heating plant.

According to Howard, since the administration does not have a set date to turn on the air conditioning, they start running it as soon as is practical, but NIU is not always sufficiently prepared for changing weather.

“It was a temperature record breaking month all around the nation,” Howard said. “All of the NIU AC systems were not completely operational.”

Junior health education major Khary Johnson said he believes people suffered in class buildings and dorms because of the heat, especially because Neptune, Douglas and Lincoln do not provide air conditioning in bedrooms.

“I think I speak for all students when I say we expect to a school of this magnitude to accommodate us with the weather,” he said. “I’ve heard a comparison to an oven, I’ve heard a comparison to hell. It’s bad.”

Sophomore psychology major Alora Schoenhofen said the heat in a Dusable Hall classroom made her feel as if she would pass out.

Communications instructor Jason Akst said the warm weather disrupted his regular class schedule. One of his students fainted in DuSable Hall, forcing him to immediately cancel class. He said the student hadn’t eaten breakfast and it contributed to her collapse.

Akst also said that he moved one of his other classes outside to escape the heat in the classroom.

“It was sweltering, so hot you’d walk in and immediately start sweating,” Akst said.

However, one student said these complaints are simply a result of humanity’s fickle nature, and commodities such as air conditioning are not worth making a fuss over.

“We want what we don’t have – it’s hot out and we want it cold, it’s cold out and we want it hot,” said sophomore nutrition major Manuel Montalvo.

Montalvo said the heat was a nice change from the freezing winter, and turning off the air conditioning to get some fresh air from open windows is not a bad thing.