Editorial: No air conditioning? Not cool.

There’s no doubt that students are enjoying the colder weather these days, if it means that their rooms won’t feel like 100 degrees. One of the most infamous complaints of this semester is about first-year, second-year and the property management residences not being air conditioned. Though people will argue that students can do without air conditioning, the effect of global warming has made air-conditioning more of a need than a want.

In 2010, the Scientific American published a piece about the effects of the hot weather on human bodies. It turns out that it isn’t just the heat: It’s the combination of heat and humidity than can have a negative, even fatal, impact on our body systems. Normally, on a hot day, our bodies perspire and the sweat helps us cool off, but the humidity prevents the sweat from drying easily, making us hotter and more tired. With this all in mind, it’s important to think about future students, especially with the possibility of Cleveland weather getting worse and worse every year.

There aren’t many options to turn to when it gets impossibly humid. Students can hide away in the university’s air-conditioned buildings during the day. They can also request air conditioning from Disability Resources if the weather becomes medically dangerous, but they need to have a medical professional sign off in order for the university to allow it. Additionally, if it was that easy to request an air conditioning unit, most of us would have it. Other than that, there are not many options for students to escape the heat and humidity.

In terms of the changes we’ve seen in construction on campus, there have been many, but none of them have had to do with air-conditioning in first-year, second-year and property management residences. The Tinkham Veale University Center, for example, opened in 2014 and became a hub for students during the day. Last year, in the fall of 2015, the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Residence Hall was built, welcoming upperclassmen into a modernized—and cooler—home that looks a lot like a hotel. And just this year, and maybe forever, there has been construction on Mather Quad to rectify several older buildings that house arts and sciences courses.

Why couldn’t all this money be directed towards adding air conditioning to older housing that still serves as a home for a majority of students on campus?

A lot of the construction that has occurred on campus so far seems to be about presentation. All of the pretty new additions are modernized—see Stephanie Tubbs Jones Residence Hall’s common space— pretty—see the Tinkham Veale Center’s large windows—and even impressive—see Sears think[box], which opened last year. However nothing would be cooler than providing a basic necessity for students, most of whom are just entering Case Western Reserve University and trying to put their lives together. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what major to declare when you’re sitting in the type of weather that’s akin to a tropical forest.

As we continue to see structural changes throughout campus, we’d like to be updated on why these structures are a priority over our housing. Surely the university will one day change the older residence halls, but until then, we’ll just be here, chilling—but not really.