Too Cool for School? Student reactions to Messiah’s heating changes

By Breanna Whitelock
Student Writer

Due to a recent shortage of propane throughout the midwest and Northeast, Messiah College reduced the heating capacity of academic and residential buildings. The temperatures in certain academic buildings such as Boyer and Frey, have had temperatures reduced to 65 degrees and residence halls heat has been reduced to 68 degrees. According to Vice President of Operations Kathie Schaeffer, Messiah is trying to show its, “commitment to sustainability, stewardship, and concern for the community,” by working alongside their propane provider and ultimately using less propane. While it may be environmentally friendly, has the recent decrease in temperature had an impact on student’s who have to live and attend classes in these much-colder buildings?

Students, as well as staff, constantly utilize the academic buildings. Has a decrease in temperature around campus affected the way students learn or the way professors instruct a class? After asking many students a similar question to this, there seems to be a consensus among students that the heating change seemed noticeable at first but as the weeks passed the change is mostly insignificant. I’ve heard many students complaining about the cold and seeing students wearing coats during classes is a common sight around campus. Students and teachers are now aware of the temperature decrease and plan their dress accordingly.

Wearing your jacket in class might be one thing, but is having to wear your jacket in your dorm room acceptable? While some students might not recognize heat changes in their dorm buildings, others are definitely feeling the difference. Upper class students in apartments have been freezing since the beginning of J-term. It seems that most feel there is nothing they can do about it. Students have been wrapped in blankets while inside their rooms trying to outlast this cold blast. Students are paying a lot of money to be able to live in a residential building on campus so shouldn’t there be more of an uproar over the temperature change? It became apparent through talking with students that while the temperature change might be a pain, their ability to act as a community on this issue is a bigger deal.

While students might be cold both inside and outside of the buildings, they should understand the decision Messiah College has made. Messiah is trying its best to keep the campus at a reasonable temperature amidst the recent shortages in propane. Although temperatures might not be comfortable in all buildings on campus, students are submitting to Messiah’s decision and bundling up more in order to keep warm. There’s only so much Messiah can do about the propane shortage and having the help of students and staff to keep the temperatures down is a great example of how Messiah can work as a community.

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