First- and second-year students around campus living without residential air conditioning are finding creative ways to beat the summer heat in a record-setting year for Cleveland.
With Sept. 4 marking the 15th day of above 90 degree heat this summer, the city is well above the previous average of eight days above 90 a year.
The risks of high-heat environments are well-documented. Without proper hydration, people lose water through sweat, tire more easily, have less energy and generally suffer. Although college students are not known for their healthy living habits, Case Western Reserve University students have managed to think beyond the possible and come up with innovative methods of keeping cool, some of which are quite elaborate.
For example, first-year student Julian Robinson said “I throw my blankets and sheets in the freezer during the day and use them at night.”
Although the cool sheets warm up quickly, Robinson says he can’t live without them, “even if it’s only five minutes of cold.”
For those who do not own a mini-fridge or whose freezer is too small, other students may provide answers.
“Just stick your head in the refrigerator,” said second-year student Nitya Talasila. It is to be noted, however, that leaving a refrigerator open as a makeshift air conditioning unit is counterproductive. The extra energy used by the fridge to keep itself cool heats up the unit, and the surrounding air. Talasila also recommended buying a box fan to place in front of windows for a refreshing flow of air.
Another way students escape the daytime heat is by finding air-conditioned common spaces on campus to both work and relax. “I live in Carlton [Commons],” said second-year student Raymond Wong.
All upperclassman housing on campus has air conditioning, although a few second-year students have been able to enjoy it as a benefit of being moved from their original Clarke Tower housing.
Robinson said, “I would like for [CWRU] to invest in air conditioning,” a sentiment echoed by many students. More than just a luxury, it’s a necessity for a liveable environment on campus.
But for now, first- and second-year students who live in the heat will have to take comfort in the fact that Cleveland summers never last long, and the biting cold of autumn and winter is just a few weeks away.